John Brennan and the Senate: Is anyone in Washington willing to defend America?

Watching the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) question John Brennan — President Obama’s nominee for CIA director — drove home the utter unwillingness of so many elected and appointed senior federal officials to defend the United States. For the most part, each senator used his/her allotted time to pose irrelevant questions to man whose answers in many cases were deceptive and evasive, when they were not outright lies. One senator hit a bull’s eye when he called Brennan to task for publicly divulging a human operation that had penetrated Al-Qaeda-on-the-Arabian Peninsula but then did not follow up when Brennan took offense at the question. Had any intelligence officer except a senior one like Brennan exposed and thereby destroyed a sensitive ongoing operation — as Brennan clearly did — he would be joining the former CIA officer who recently went to prison for disclosing the name of a colleague.

Another senator questioned Brennan about the rendition and interrogation of terrorists on the basis of a report prepared by SSCI staffers. The senator said that the study proved that no worthwhile intelligence came from the interrogation of detainees. Displaying his longtime trademark — a cowardly switching of sides when the pressure is on — Brennan renounced his earlier certainties and agonized with the senator over his claims. As if prepared to descend from Olympus and set things aright at the CIA, Brennan implicitly denigrated the honesty and integrity of such men as Leon Panetta, General David Petraeus Michael Mukasey, General Michael Hayden, as well as each and every CIA officer who has testified under oath to the great and life-saving utility of the rendition/interrogation program. Lapdog-like, Brennan took the side of a senator who is ideologically opposed to defending America and a report prepared by staffers of the same sort. What Brennan did was to display his — and Obama’s — subservience to the far left, anti-American wing of the Democratic Party, as well suggest that he will bring a Senate-approved witch hunt to the CIA against those who have so ably and legally defended the United States despite being led by the sorry likes of Brennan, Obama, Clinton, Graham, and McCain.

A third senator nailed Brennan on the failure of the Obama administration to seize the terrorist who apparently participated in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya; the man was detained in Tunisia and then released. Brennan self-righteously explained that the individual could not be detained under Tunisian law, and then launched into the usual cant-of-cowards about America must always stand for law and order and so must abide by the decision of Tunisia’s Islamist regime. That means, of course, that it is okay if the fellow goes free and helps kill more Americans because the Obama administration has stood up and respected Tunisian law. Not a surprising response from a man like Brennan who — with Bill Clinton, the felon Sandy Berger, George Tenet, etc. — ensured that bin Laden was alive to destroy two U.S. embassies in Africa, nearly sink the USS COLE, stage the 9/11 attack, and then survive to steadily kill Americans for decade afterwards.

One would have thought that some senator would have been bright enough to ask Brennan why the Obama administration had not used the Special Forces and/or the CIA to kidnap the guy in Tunisia and take him for interrogation to Guantanamo or some U.S. Navy ship after the Islamist Tunisian regime decided to protect him. But none of the senators asked — they thereby lined up behind Brennan’s position that more dead Americans are preferable to breaking Tunisian law — and neither did any senator ask Brennan if he was disclosing classified information when he told the senators that Washington knew the likely Benghazi attacker was still in Tunisia. It was surprising, to say the least, that Brennan publicly warned a terrorist — a man U.S. forces presumably are hunting — that the Obama administration knew his location.

This recap of this feckless hearing could go on, but the important thing to end with is the apparent delusion Brennan and the senators are operating under. That delusion is encapsulated in the constant mantra they used claiming that America is always best defended by taking the moral and legal high ground. This may have been partly true decades ago — although the self-righteous mantra even then was backed by a huge nuclear arsenal — but today it is a lethal pipe-dream for which there is no basis in fact.

For more than a decade, the world, and especially the Muslim world, has seen that while American leaders from both parties spout and pontificate about their high-moral standards, they are simultaneously engaged in a bipartisan foreign policy of endless intervention in other independent nation-states; in an arrogant and near-racist policy that tries to make their little brown brothers overseas into the image of themselves; that is, secular democrats who are devoid of religion, decency, and commonsense; in a policy of free speech that has fatally corrupted our domestic political system and made America’s media the world’s powerhouse producer of pornography and incitement to murder; and in an addiction to a so-called individual right that has killed 55 million unborn U.S. citizens and has caused no remorse among our political leaders. These men and women who are, however, more than willing to whine and cry crocodile tears because U.S. forces killed a U.S. citizen named Anwar al-Awlaki, a man whose reason for living was to kill Americans. Overall, what the world has seen in recent decades is a brand of American leaders and policies that — as a wise acquaintance of mine recently said — would give amoral pagans a bad name.

In the world as it is today, America’s security is in no way assured by U.S. politicians mindlessly bleating about our high-moral standards and respect for the rule of law. Sadly, their own actions have devastated and rendered impotent any impact such a perception might have if it was abroad in the world — which it certainly is not.

Until this generation of politicians and civil servants of John Brennan’s ilk pass away, the moral high-ground is to be greatly valued — as another wise acquaintance of mine notes — but only because it provides U.S. military forces with the best field of fire.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.