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The Campaign Against John Brennan

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, appointments, CIA, presidential cabinet, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, media, military, obama, torture )

- 2074 days ago -
It may have been slow in the making, but the campaign against John Brennan is starting in earnest today with two progressive groups coming out against President Obama's choice to head the Central Intelligence Agency.


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Kit B (276)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 12:27 pm
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Credit: AP) - Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, President Barack Obama's choice for CIA director, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, where the president Barack Obama made the announcement.

It may have been slow in the making, but the campaign against John Brennan is starting in earnest today with two progressive groups coming out against President Obama’s choice to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Advocates are concerned about Brennan’s distressing record on civil liberties from his long career in intelligence under both the Bush and Obama administrations. CAIR, the country’s most prominent Muslim civil society group, and the ACLU, the civil liberties organization, have both already expressed concern about Brennan’s nomination.

But today, two liberal groups are turning up the pressure by mobilizing their members against the nominee. Calling Brennan the “assassination czar” of the Obama administration, CREDO, the increasingly active grassroots mobilizing group fueled by its cell phone business, and Demand Progress, a million-plus member civil rights organization, will begin mobilizing their members later this morning to urge the Senate to reject Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.

Becky Bond, CREDO’s political director, said promoting Brennan sends a bad message. “Despite the virtual silence on both sides of the aisle when it comes to secret killings and extraordinary rendition, it’s still wrong now. What kind of message does it send to the rest of the world if the United States, a leading democracy, confirms ‘assassination czar’ John Brennan to head the CIA?”

Brennan advised Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, but was forced to withdraw his name from consideration for the same job under pressure from liberals and civil liberties advocates. He was a senior official at the CIA when the agency was torturing detainees, and is the top architect of Obama’s controversial drone campaign.

“How quaint and innocent we were just four years ago, when apology for torture disqualified John Brennan from potential Senate confirmation,” said Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal. “He’s quickly built out his resume to include management of a secret kill list and oversight of a global fleet of flying death robots. Shamefully, in the minds of some establishment politicians his support for such abuses are feathers in his cap.”

Despite their success four years ago, it will be a lot harder for activists to kill Brennan’s nomination this time around. For one, he’s already been nominated, making it impossible for him to quietly bow out. He’s also expected to easily secure enough votes in the Senate, and his withdrawal would be a serious blow to Obama’s political capital, so the stakes are higher. But more importantly, civil liberties have largely dropped out of the political conversation in the intervening years, even among liberals.

Some critics, like blogger Andrew Sullivan, one Brennan’s most outspoken opponents in 2008, have even come around on the intelligence official. “I’m not as inclined to oppose him this time around, in part because torture has ended, and in part because he is increasingly one of the good guys on the drone program,” the Daily Dish columnist wrote Monday. Others, like Glenn Greenwald, are more resigned to the new era, where Brennan is merely a symptom of larger problems, so stopping his nomination may not do much, they fear.

If nothing else, however, some pressure from the left could help push Democratic senators on the Intelligence Committee to ask Brennan tough questions about the drone war and his role in post-9/11 detainee programs, as many of the details remain secret. It’s a rare opportunity to have an important conversation about civil liberties and it will only happen if activists demand it.

Read the petitions from CREDO and Demand Progress here. ** Petitions at VISIT SITE**
***links within body of article at VISIT SITE*****

By Alex Seitz-Wald | Salon |


Terry King (113)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 12:29 pm
Speaking only for myself... I would oppose anyone who would seek, or even be qualified to seek, this position!

JL A (281)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:25 pm
This is indeed a distressing choice with the CIA being given dominant role in targeted campaigns overseas that used to belong to the military or military intelligence and at least subject to military code of justice whereas no such limit and ethical restraint exists for the CIA.

I guess we are on the same wavelength Kit as I also posted a Brennan story today at:
for those interested in learning more about him and his history.

Kit B (276)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:44 pm

Earlier this morning on Blog Talk Radio (Lies My Country Told Me) we discussed both Chuck Hagel and Brennan.

I'm sure had I wanted to dig for it,I could find an article that could find something good to say about Brennan. But then... I'm not really interested in what his mom thinks about him.

This man is strongly supportive of the many things I find totally oppositional with American values, and American interests. Yes. The CIA is deeply secretive, setting that aside, and I do, I am far more concerned about his personal attitudes on torture, I think this is but one of many articles that will detail more about his attitudes and desires for the ever growing CIA involvement in adding more countries to an American "hit list".

JL A (281)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 2:02 pm
I share your concerns Kit.

Carrie B (306)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 3:02 pm
Start digging Kit because there won't be anything good! He is the wrong man for the job! His complete lack of moral ethics is troubling to say the least.

ParsifalAWAY S (99)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:55 am

Stephen Lendman on Hagel and Brennan Nominations

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:18 am
Noted and worried.

donnaa D (14)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 5:54 am

cecily w (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:16 am
You would think that it would be possible to appoint someone with a clean reputation for $175k per year.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:33 am
You cannot currently send a star to cecily because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:34 am
Kit, some conservatives call him a "political kiss up." In other words, a "Yes Man." Putting that aside, I believe every single one of Obama's nominees need to be grilled and asked those hard questions so that we can know who they really are and what they believe to be the right path for our country.

Along that same line of thinking, why aren't the American people insisting on complete background checks on every single person who goes to Washington DC? Why have we been remiss in demanding that all who "enter" have been completely vetted? Had a few of Obama's czars been vetted we would've known up front that they were serious tax evaders etc.

I want to hear John Brennan's answers as well as Chuck Hagel's position on the big issues we are facing.

cecily, $175,000 a year is peanuts if you live in Washington DC and the surrounding areas. The only way to get quality people is to give them a complete background check, dig into their credit ratings, personal relationships, college records, etc. Sad, but I believe it has come to this and must be done. Once this has been completed the media will find it far more difficult to slaughter them in the news.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:44 am
Thank you Parsifal for posting that very informative link with both Brennan and Hagel's history. And the reminder that the legally required processes ensure that backgrounds have been very thoroughly vetted before any is even nominated. Congress are the only ones going to DC these days without the appropriate background checks (presidential politics ensures it gets done for POTUS). I like Diane's idea of not letting those with allegiances other than their oaths of office and to the constitution be barred from taking Washington DC positions (e.g., those who signed allegiance to Grover Norquist first).

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:08 am
That's good to know. Charlie Rangel, Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner all had tax issues prior to joining Obama's team so I'm not so sure how accurate they are. I would think that not paying your taxes would send up a red flag unless of course there are many things that can be overlooked.

" I like Diane's idea of not letting those with allegiances other than their oaths of office and to the constitution be barred from taking Washington DC positions (e.g., those who signed allegiance to Grover Norquist first)"

Laugh Out Loud, JLA. You must be bored today so you make things up.

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:27 am

That is the task of the Senate to ask the "hard questions" as for Brennan his past attitudes have vacillated between being strongly supportive of torture to being strongly against. I believe that we should know exactly who these people are and what they actually believe. Not what they represent themselves to be during one administration or another. That is probably magical thinking, we never seem to learn more than the bare surface of who or what these people are. There is but one oath of office, and we know what should be, an allegiance to serve the people of this country by following the law of the land, the Constitution.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:41 am
Kit, just sent you a big green star! Amen Kit!!

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 12:06 pm

Just what I believe, not that it will happen. I think we know far more about Chuck Hagel and I don't care what remarks he might have made in the 1990's that are now considered slanderous. We do have his history and the record of his time in government. That's more than we learn about most people who serve in government. Attitudes towards others do evolve and adapt as times change. I think Hagel is, like him or not, is fairly open and direct about himself.

Thanks for the Green Star, Diane.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 12:11 pm
Anyone who seeks the position of CIA Director had better be a yes man or they will find themselves floating down the Swanee River in a boat adrift with an extra eye hole; just like Bill Casey. I do think we need to vet them more closely.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 12:25 pm
Diane, you said "why aren't the American people insisting on complete background checks on every single person who goes to Washington DC?"
That seems to clearly describe Congress--so a agree and hope you will work hard to ensure that happens for all in the GOP who get elected (where far more tax issues have surfaced than with nominees who number more). Any one want to venture why the McConnell investigation was quashed into why his net worth has skyrocketed since he's been in Congress?
Kit, I agree that some are scraping the bottom of the barrel of ancient history instead of focusing on items of greater relevance to expected duties.

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 12:43 pm

I think General Petraeus was rather well "vetted" and though I could care less about his personal issues, that he was so careless as to allow certain issues of National Security to be leaked during his liaison, should make us all very aware that we can't know too much about these nominees.

Why do people become so very wealthy once they serve a number of years in Congress or a high level governmental office. Yes, I do realize that question is redundant as we already know. However, the general consensus of knowledge should go farther and each person should be held to highest standard of scrutiny. That would most certainly include using their office to quash any investigations.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:01 pm
Great example Kit. Even J Edgar Hoover had skeletons in his time at the FBI under several different administrations. There are other similar investigations Rep. Issa has refused to begin as required of the House Ethics Committee--why I am so glad the extra independent ethics group got funding late in 2012 to continue. Sure wish I had a green star to send your way.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:41 pm
I don't seem to have a good feeling towards any one that makes it to the C eye ya level. They all creep me out and they're just another arm of the MIC.

Deborah W (6)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:35 pm
"U.S.a leading democracy" ... bit of a stretch lately, don't you think.

Decline likely to continue once all Presidential hand-picked nominee choices are confirmed.

Wait until the circle is complete.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 2:41 pm
Not to mention, it was the CIA that aided Bush in letting 9/11 happen. They had their files. They let bush/cheney know when the one way tickets were bought for use. The file pictures were released immediately.
I hope the CIA can be cleaned up but I doubt it.

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 6:32 pm
Noted. From everything I've been reading about Brennan, I am totally against him getting this position.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday February 7, 2013, 2:29 pm
If you have not already then please sign this petition, I am adding it here

How to Tell if John Brennan Is Lying
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