John Brennan is rumored to be a candidate, replacing the departing Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence.
Yet another review of Mr. Brennan is in order. Most recently Mr. Brennan stated that he was looking for moderate leadership in Hamas and Hiz’bAllah to reach out to. Memo to Mr. Brennan; they don’t exist. Under the rubric that no one in the administration has read the Arizona Immigration Law, they may have also failed to read the Hamas and Hiz’bAllah charters or reviewed public statements over the past few years. He may also be unaware of Iranian influence on these organizations. You have to assume that a rational base of knowledge is absent if Mr. Brennan is looking for “moderates”.
On Gitmo recidivism, Mr. Brennan thought that 20% was “not too bad”!
Mr. Brennan also buys into some level of terrorist appeasement. In speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in August of 2009; “Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent”. Those legitimate grievances went without definition by Mr. Brennan. Nothing new here, Mr. Brennan tends to suffer logical disconnects when dealing with the ideological connection between Al Qaeda and violent extremism generally.
In the same speech Mr. Brennan rejects connections between “violent extremism and Islam”. He remains convinced that Jihad is a journey of personal purity and rejects the term in the context of spreading Islam by the sword. Mr. Brennan is apparently unaware of the violent history of imperial Islam. He is, to appearances, also unaware of the massive clerical infrastructure that does in fact define Jihad as a violent spreading of or actions in defense of Islam.
He defines nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists as the key security challenge facing the administration but offers no concrete plans to address it. Well that’s not true he did identify three critical efforts to address the problem; “leading the effort for a stronger global nonproliferation regime, launching an international effort to secure nuclear material and (this one should do it) a global nuclear summit.
As a footnote Mr. Brennan was initially considered for CIA Director but was vaporized by left wing opposition in the administration. This may explain his decidedly soft public statements on terrorism and its motivations.
You may be happy to know that in that same August of 2009 Mr. Brennan told us that the War on Terror was over as was the war on Global Jihadism; in fact we’re not involved in a global anything according to Mr. Brennan. We’re still at “war” but only with al Qaeda; so declared Mr. Brennan.
Mr. Brennan further dismisses the use of the word “global” because “it feeds the image of al Qaeda as “a highly organized, global entity capable of replacing sovereign nations with a global caliphate.” This perception simply misses the point, radical Islam is a global phenomenon. In addition to the Middle East, Islamic radicalism is present in the U.S., Canada, the entirety of Europe, Central and South America, the Philippines, Indonesia, Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Russia, the Caucuses, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Australia and China to name a few.
Mr. Brennan has a long standing reputation as a D.C. sycophant. Mr. Blair is rumored to have insisted to the administration that realities outside of the ideological construct had to be addressed; uncomfortable realities. Should Mr. Brennan end up as DNI that will tell you everything you need to know about where the intelligence game is going and what its view of the world will be.