With all the screeching, tearing and gnashing of teeth by GOP mouthpieces from silly little Lindsey Graham to angst driven decrepit old men, like Johnny McCain - trying to recapture his boyish Jet-Jockey sociopathy-concerning nominees for Secretary of State, there is an audible silence on behalf of the professional Congressional loud mouths - Not a word, not a peep, by those very same naysayers, questioning the 2nd nomination announced in President Obama's speech, January 7, John Brennan.
“For the last four years, as my Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, John developed and has overseen our comprehensive counterterrorism strategy — a collaborative effort across the government, including intelligence and defense and homeland security, and law enforcement agencies,” said Obama. “And so think about the results. More al Qaeda leaders and commanders have been removed from the battlefield than at any time since 9/11.”So with Obama's obvious great admiration for this secret agent man, why is Congress so silent?
Maybe it's because John Brennan is the poster boy for the continuation of the war crimes of the Bush Administration and, therefore, the fair haired child of those same neo-cons who put us into the bloody, immoral wars on Iraqi citizens, on Afghani citizens and the systematic destruction of human rights and civil rights of peoples all over the planet to include the destruction of the basic human and civil rights of American citizens.
John Brennan seems to be Okey-Dokey with the neo-cons and the neo-conned of Capital Hill and The corporate whoredom that is much of what is called mainstream media.
And what about President Obama? The guy who made an entire campaign in 2008, about "transparency and accountability"; about the evils of the Bush administration in their use of Black Sites, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, torture, abuses of international law and about moving "forward" towards an open, honest policy or truth, justice and respect for all others?
He stands with John Brennan - supports the drone warfare, continues to allow the rendition (more stories on this practice can be found in the NY Times and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism ), supports the "kill list", and the continued abuse of citizens of other countries (from illegal indefinite detention, to the Patriot Act to the NDAA to continuation of Bagram, Guantanamo and other prisons maintained and justified by this administration though lip-service is given at election time about closing).
Side Note Here: I would be remiss if I did not note that this month we "celebrate" the 11th birthday of Guantanamo (HAPPY BIRTHDAY) as the flagship prison used to hold any male that the US has decided to kidnap. I note male only because I believe holding women and children there would only increase attention and derision towards this heinous hold-over hobby of the Bush/Cheney Era. We do hold women and children hostage as proven by Abu Ghraib, Bagram, though we do imprison them in other places. (see the story of Aafia Siddiqui and her missing children)
There have been a few Op-Eds on Mr. Brennan, hidden in the dark recesses of the Atlantic and the LA Times and some more blatantly out-front as in "The New Yorker"; Even a few commentaries on the smaller, cable channels like Current and DemocracyNow .... Rachel Maddow has made mention and FINALLY this morning (7:00 am, MST, Sunday morning on MSNBC is not a heavily watched slot for most of America), Chris Hayes brought the issue to panel with members of Democracy Now (Amy Goodman), The DailyBeast (Eli Lake), and Chris Anders (ACLU) were on to discuss Brennan and the issues raised during his 2008 consideration for CIA Chief (nothing has changed in 4 years, Prez...In fact, Brennan is worse today than he was 4 years ago) ...
Only on the internet have the issues been addressed on a somewhat regular basis; have been brought to print since before his nomination; have the facts been given and the questions posed - by the likes of Truth-Out, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Center for Constitutional Rights, Salon.com, ....
Here is some reality about John Brennan, super secrety agent guy and counterterrorism expert:
John Brennan is the "chosen one" behind the infamous "kill list" - the targeted murder sanctioned by the American government - merging, constructing, defining and defending it as "legal", "acceptable" and "necessary". That list includes names of those American citizens this administration deems to be a "threat" to "security."
John Brennan is the guy behind the drone attacks on Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan (and guess what guys - they are coming to a police department near you!)....ordering attacks that have killed innocent men, women and children along with the named target then lying about the collateral damage (nice way to describe the blood of innocents on his head and on the head of every American - the crimes committed in the name of America makes them crimes of every American).
On June 29, 2011, John Brennan appeared at John Hopkins University to deliver a speech and answer questions about the US Counterterrorism policy and actions of the US around the world. During the question and answer period he was asked, specifically, about US ‘targeted killings’, a euphemism for CIA drone strikes.
From the transcript of the C-Span tape of the speech and discussion:
"...One of the things that President Obama has been insistent on is that we are exceptionally precise and surgical in terms of addressing the terrorist threat.
By that I mean, if there are terrorists who are within an area where there are women and children or others, we do not take such action that might put those innocent young men and women and children in danger."
He goes on to say "......There has not been a single collateral death..."These assertions are made as he invokes the name of the President and his role as a "Constitution Lawyer" as if having the president's collusion makes it all so true.
Later on, after this appearance and after some discrepancies were reported, Mr. Brennan qualified his statement stating that there were no "known" deaths...
Oh really, John?
According to research done by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, John Brennan's claims that there have been no civilian casualties with ordered drone strikes are blatantly false. Even worse is the Obama administration's knowledge that the claims are untrue but they still support the blatant lie (great transparency there!)
CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004–2013
Total US strikes: 362
Obama strikes: 310
Total reported killed: 2,629-3,461
Civilians reported killed: 475-891
Children reported killed: 176
Total reported injured: 1,267-1,431
US Covert Action in Yemen 2002–2013
Total confirmed US operations (all): 54-64
Total confirmed US drone strikes: 43-53
Possible extra US operations: 128-150
Possible extra US drone strikes: 70-86
Total reported killed (all): 374-1,077
Total civilians killed (all): 72-171
Children killed (all): 27-35
US Covert Action in Somalia 2007–2013
Total US strikes: 10-23
Total US drone strikes: 3-9
Total reported killed: 58-170
Civilians reported killed: 11-57
Children reported killed: 1-3
(For more information on the data - Pakistan; Yemen; Interactive timeline of drone strikes by the US; Interactive Map of Drone Strikes; the methodology)
Mr. Brennan and the President have a spin for this too...
They have worked out the super mathy way to deny deaths....They just don't count anyone they can deem to be a male of "combatant" age. Any male that looks or might be over 18 that is killed in an action is now a "combatant" regardless of whether or not they actually are or were or thought about it or happened to be walking by the strike zone.
John Brennan is the continuation of the policies set forth by the Bush Administration and now carried through the Obama Administration; of nontransparency and cover-up; of immoral and illegal activity; and of no accountability for acts against the people of the planet as well as the people of THIS nation.
John Brennan, the neo-cons' neo-con, is exactly what President Obama has always claimed not to be. He is the proof of President Obama's own extremist exceptionalism and lack of transparency or accountability; He is the guy acting out the president's most cruel and illegal acts; He is the guy given the job to carry out America's inhumanity on the planet and he does it with a skill and ruthlessness that rivals his old boss, Dick Cheney.