Obama's National Security Advisor
by ALAN CARUBA
October 11, 2012
If you are wondering why the Obama administration was slow acknowledge the attack on our Benghazi consulate that killed our Libyan ambassador and three others and concocted lies about it, it helps to know who is advising the President. My commentary from March 14, 2012, provides part of the answer:
There's a YouTube video of John Brennan, the President's national security advisor, praising Islam and the Arab culture to an unidentified group of Arabs that is so revealing that it should be probable cause for his removal from office. At one point, he addresses them in fluent Arabic, a language acquired in his studies and CIA posts over the years.
When the British Empire spanned much of the globe there was a turn for men who embraced the culture and nations to which they were assigned. They were deemed to have "gone native", often wearing Arab garb and becoming apologists for their actions. Among the most famous was Lawrence of Arabia, but there were many others such as Lieutenant-General, Sir John Bagot Glub, widely known as Glub Pasha, best known for leading and training Jordan's Arab Legion from 1939 to 1956, the same Legion that took part in attacks on Israel after it declared independence in 1948.
In the video, Brennan waxes poetic about Arab culture. In 1977 Brennan had received a degree in political science from Fordham University. During his studies he had spent his junior year learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo. He received a Master of Arts degree in government with a concentration in Middle East studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.
His career in the Central Intelligence Agency was one in which he reached the highest rungs as an analyst, serving at one point as a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton. In 1996, he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when the Khobar Towers, a housing complex was blown up by a truck bomb, killing nineteen U.S. servicemen billeted there. He would serve under CIA Director George Tenet as the director of its newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004. He would serve as director of the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2005.
One might assume from such an impressive resume that Brennan was the idea man to be appointed President Barack Hussein Obama's chief counterintelligence advisor with the title of Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
One might assume that, but Brennan, from his earliest days in that post made a number of statements and authored a USA Today opinion editorial that revealed deeply felt sympathies for the very people who were and are attacking Americans at home and overseas. In his USA Today opinion, Brennan criticized "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering that only serve the goals of al Qaeda."
Commenting on Brennan's USA Today opinion, Jeb Babbin, in an article for Human Events on February 11, 2010, wrote of Brennan and the Obama administration's incomprehensible national security actions, "Consider their consistent record of bad decisions only one year into Obama's presidency: to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; to move Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other al Qaeda varsity out of the military commissions system and try them in civilian criminal court; to war against the intelligence community; to put the White House in charge of interrogations of captured terrorists; and, most recently, the hasty decision to put the Christmas Day underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in civilian custody thus preventing professional intelligence interrogators from having access to him."
Babbin characterized Brennan's USA Today article as "a string of fibs and misleading statements so easily disproved (that) it leaves observers wondering about Brennan's sanity."
Writing in the Washington Observer on May 26, 2010, Spencer Ackerman reported that "Brennan signaled as well that the administration is concerned that blowback from civilians killed by drones could turn tactical success into strategic failure." Brennan said the U.S. had an obligation to destroy al Qaeda proactively, "but also has a responsibility not to overreact in the event of a successful attack."
One wonders if he thought that President George W. Bush overreacted to the al Qaeda attack on 9/11. One can only assume he agreed with President Obama's decision to send a SEAL team to assassinate Osama bin Ladin. In his defense of the decision to read Adulmatalleb Miranda rights, Brennan said, "Cries to try terrorists only in military courts lacks foundation." This ignores the long history of trying people who commit acts of war against the United States the use of military courts.
The fact that Brennan is one of the chief advisors to President Obama explains a lot about the decisions Obama has made since taking office with regard to protecting the nation against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. It explains Obama's now famous "apology tour" of the Middle East that he took in 2009 and his conciliatory speech delivered at the University of Cairo.
Egypt has now moved outside the nation's zone of influence and Iran openly mocks the Obama policies of using diplomacy and sanctions to stop their quest for nuclear weapons. Israel, despite Obama's reassurances, was told to stop building housing in its capitol city and to retreat to indefensible 1967 borders.
Inside the White House, Obama continues to be advised by a man whose sympathies, despite his long service in the CIA, are with the enemies of the nation. It is no surprise that Brennan has maintained a very low profile since 2009-2010.
There have been many calls for Brennan's resignation or firing, but he remains in Obama's good graces. That, too, is no surprise.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
March 14, 2012