Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brennan's Withdrawn His Name!

Good news. Brennan has taken his name out of consideration for a top post in Intelligence such as CIA Director or DNI Head.

From the International Herald Tribune:

John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama's top adviser on intelligence, has taken his name out of the running for any intelligence position in the new administration.

Brennan wrote in a Nov. 25 letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs who associate him with the Bush administration's interrogation, detention and rendition policies.

"The fact that I was not involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored," he wrote, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. . .

Obama's advisers had grown increasingly concerned in recent days over online blogs that accused Brennan of condoning harsh interrogation tactics on terror suspects, including waterboarding, which critics call torture.

As Glenn Greenwald writes:

Brennan's self-defense here is quite disingenuous. Whether he "was involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies" is not and never was the issue. Rather, as I documented at length when I first wrote about Brennan, he was an ardent supporter of those policies, including "enhanced interrogation techniques" and rendition, both of which he said he was intimately familiar with as a result of his CIA position. As virtually everyone who opposed his nomination made clear -- Andrew Sullivan, Digby, Cenk Uygur, Big Tent Democrat and others -- that is why he was so unacceptable.

from The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti:

"The letter came as a surprise to many intelligence experts and even some lawmakers, and some questioned whether Mr. Brennan had been forced to withdraw his name by senior members of Mr. Obama’s transition team who were concerned about Mr. Brennan’s association with Bush administration policies.

"The opposition to Mr. Brennan had been largely confined to liberal blogs, and there was not an expectation he would face a particularly difficult confirmation process. Still, the episode shows that the C.I.A.’s secret detention program remains a particularly incendiary issue for the Democratic base, making it difficult for Mr. Obama to select someone for a top intelligence post who has played any role in the agency’s campaign against Al Qaeda since the Sept. 11 attacks."

[According to Mazzetti then, the ONLY people who have played a role in the CIA's anti-Al Qaeda campaign since 9/11 are those who have advocated rendition. Ergo, if you're AGAINST Al Qaeda you must be FOR rendition. Sure. Of course. So logical.]

* * *

I suspect that this is also why Larry Summers did not end up getting the post that he was widely expected to get as the next Treasury Secretary.

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