Archive for the ‘John Brennan’ Category

CIA: At Least One Obama Nominee Idea Derailed

December 23, 2008

Bogs and bloggers do have influence as the story of one man almost chosen by Barack Obama proves….

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John Brennan, Obama’s chief intelligence adviser and anticipated CIA chief, was recently forced to withdraw his name — and the drumbeat of opposition came not from the front pages, but from left-wing bloggers. 

In this Sept. 21,2004 file photo, John Brennan gestures during ... 
John Brennan. AP Photo Lawrence Jackson

President-elect Barack Obama has shown almost perfect pitch in crafting his new administration, aptly choosing old hands instead of fresh faces and bringing in the experience he lacks. 

But there is one glaring void. Obama has yet to name key intelligence officials to manage the war against terrorism. 

And one of the central reasons he hasn’t come forward with a pick for one of the top jobs is because he’s running into pressure from an unexpected source — left-wing bloggers. 

John Brennan, Obama’s chief intelligence adviser and anticipated CIA chief, was recently forced to withdraw his name. There was no drumbeat of opposition to Brennan from the front pages or on cable. Rather, the pick was torpedoed by the blogosphere. 

“Apparently there is a lot of pressure on the Obama team from a blog saying that Brennan couldn’t be made the director of the CIA because he was involved in torture and renditions, which he wasn’t,” said Mark Lowenthal, former assistant CIA director. 

The turn of events only emphasizes the influence of the Internet on the operation of a president-elect whose campaign was powered in large part by the Web. 

“Blogs do have significant influence,” said blogger Glenn Greenwald, one of those critical of Brennan. “I think the Obama team would be foolish if they just ignored what happened on blogs, and I know for a fact that there are people high up in the Obama campaign and now the transition team who read blogs regularly.” 

As a result, say knowledgeable sources, the Obama transition team pushed Brennan to withdraw his name. “Their knees buckled,” one intelligence veteran said. 

Brennan once served as George Tenet’s chief of staff and later took an administrative role at the CIA, before moving on to what became the National Counterterrorism Center. 

Greenwald and other bloggers blamed Brennan, though, for condoning harsh interrogation methods, as well as rendition — the practice of capturing terrorists, like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and taking them to the U.S. or other countries for interrogation and imprisonment. 

But many say Brennan had no control over those policies. 

“This is one of those Washington drive-by shootings that we have from time to time where someone is near a policy issue that’s controversial and is dragged down by the conventional wisdom,” said Douglas Paal, former CIA senior analyst. 

Brennan did say rendition was a vital tool — after all, without it, Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others might still be free. 

But when he withdrew his name from consideration, he wrote a letter to the president-elect, obtained by FOX News, in which he described himself as a Bush critic on many fronts. 

“It has been immaterial to the critics that I have been a strong opponent of many of the policies of the Bush administration such as the preemptive war in Iraq and coercive interrogation tactics, to include waterboarding,” Brennan wrote in the Nov. 25 missive. 

And Brennan said that as a result of his opposition to Bush policies, he was “twice considered for more senior-level positions in the current administration only to be rebuffed by the White House.” 

In that sense, it would seem Brennan was the perfect man for a job with Obama — but not good enough for the critics.

Greenwald said Brennan’s support for rendition and “all of the other enhanced interrogation techniques beyond waterboarding” makes him “unqualified” for the job. 

Intelligence veterans, however, say that sets an impossible standard. 

“If you were involved in a senior position in the intelligence community during the war on terror, you can’t be nominated for another senior position,” Lowenthal said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/22/obama-intelligence-pick-torpedoed-bloggers/

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Who Should Be Angry With Obama?

December 23, 2008

O.K. it is still early in the Obama Administration — in fact we haven’t yet seen a swearing in.  Yet there have been plenty of appointments and pronouncements.

So who should be angry with Barack Obama thus far? 

Feminists, gays, liberals, opponents of the war, and Joe Biden, to name a few, should be fuming at the President-elect.

Some women say Obama has passed up a golden opportunity to place more seasoned and highly qualified women in his administration.

“When you are looking at a Cabinet and you have such a small number of women in the room when the big decisions are being made, there need to be a lot more women’s voices in this administration,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. 

Bill Clinton and President Bush each had a comparable number of women in their first Cabinets, but women’s groups say they hoped for and expected more from President-elect Barack Obama.  

Some gays are unhappy too: the naming of Rick Warren to give the opening prayer at the Obama inauguration is seen as a slap in the face.

“Warren doesn’t just oppose gay marriage, he’s compared it to incest and pedophilia. He doesn’t just want to ban abortion, he’s compared women who terminate pregnancies to Nazis and the pro-choice position to Holocaust denial,” wrote Katha Pollitt  in the Los Angeles Times.

On the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama has not yet gained the confidence of many who wanted America out of war right away.

In fact, Obama has retained the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a host of Pentagon political appointees (see today’s Washington Times).

Defense Secretary Robert Gates holds a press briefing at the ...
Staying at the Pentagon: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and many others.
(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

Obama seems no closer to a military withdrawal in Iraq than George Bush and he has already launched plans for 30,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Liberals say Obama is missing the message of the election by keeping the Pentagon team in place and “floating” the name of John Brennan as a possible nominee to head the CIA. 

Liberals believe the likes of Brennan are partly to blame for the world-wide loss of respect for America due to torture and other sins.

In this Sept. 21,2004 file photo, John Brennan gestures during ... 
John Brennan. AP Photo Lawrence Jackson

Finally, Joe Biden has reason to be angry at Barack Obama.  Joe Biden is the former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  And yet, President-elect Obama named him head of the White House Jobs Program this last weekend (“White House Task Force on Working Families”).

And there has been a lot of talk about a “lesser” role for the vice president.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a new task force aimed at helping working families.

Above: Former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, will chair a new task force aimed at helping working families. He’ll have a “lesser role” than Dick Cheney, Obama spokesmen say.

A spokeswoman for the Vice President-elect said “Biden had no intention of continuing the practice started by Vice President Cheney of regularly attending internal legislative branch meetings — he firmly believes in restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role.”

Let’s be honest, children.  The traditional role of the Vice President of the Uited Sates is to stand in the corner, go to funerals the president doesn’t want to attend and await the death of his boss.

John Nance Garner said while he was vice president that the job “wasn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.”

That’s the traditional “lesser” role of the vice president.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Realted:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/22/
women.cabinet/index.html

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/19
/cartoon.clicks/index.html

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Obama Retains Top Tier of Pentagon Political Appointees
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec
/22/obama-wants-bush-war-team-stay/

Rick Warren is an Insulting Choice
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-
pollitt22-2008dec22,0,4243781.story

Biden Promises to be a Different Vice President
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/
22/biden.lkl/index.html

Gay Congressman Says Obama Made A Mistake on Pastor
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Biden: “Working Families Czar”
http://atimetochoose.wordpress.com/2008/12/21/bide
n-working-families-czar-how-appropriate/

 Obama: “Arbiter in Chief”

Obama’s New Vision for Vice President Joe Biden
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Bloggers Rule! Obama CIA Pick Torpedoed
(The story of John Brennan)
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Biden:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/1
2/22/biden.economy/index.html