The Seduction of John Brennan’s “Moral Rectitude”

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As has been floated over the last few days, Obama will reportedly appoint John Brennan CIA Director later today.

FWIW, having John Brennan in a position where he will be subject to Congressional oversight–rather than the oversight-free and more expansive position he’s in now–might not be an entirely bad thing. And after the DiFi-Jose Rodriguez smackdown, I’m not sad to see Morell get passed over, because I don’t think he has sufficient independence from people like Rodriguez.

Nevertheless, this appointment no doubt will lead to (already has) a bunch of people suggesting John Brennan will bring new order to the drone program.

I’m actually far more worried about Brennan’s control over other programs, particularly profiling Americans (though NCTC owns much of that task now). Remember, in addition to having ties to torture, Brennan was in charge of profiling for Dick Cheney’s illegal wiretap program. And he’s the guy who decided it’d be great to give the NCTC unfettered access to any federal database. This man loves data mining, and we should expect to see more of it from the CIA.

But I’m amused that people believe–based on anonymous claims by Brennan supporters–that he’ll bring order to the drone program. Such belief, it seems to me, overlooks Brennan’s actions in favor of anonymous comments.

Brennan was purportedly putting more order to the program. Until Mitt lost, and then he stalled that effort and broke what rules are said to govern the program.

Brennan was purportedly opposed to signature strikes. Until he approved them for use in Yemen.

Brennan has had control over all aspects of the drone program for 8 months. But the drone program is, if anything, accelerating again.

And remember, Brennan is a liar. A proven liar on this and a number of other issues. As well as a key instigator for the self-interested leaking the Administration would criminally punish coming from others. He spends a great deal of energy telling useful but not factually accurate stories to spin the Administration’s counterterrorism programs.

So I can’t help but think the people hailing his “moral rectitude” have been seduced by an old spook. Because every story that claims Brennan has some kind of higher ethics or a plan to put order to our out-of-control CT programs is either followed–or has the proof within itself–that the moral rectitude is the PR, whereas the embrace of unchecked power seems to be backed by his actions.

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6 Responses to The Seduction of John Brennan’s “Moral Rectitude”

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @FallenJPAngel I keep saying this country will start doing something about climate change when Lockheed figures that out @kenvogel @tedcruz
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Cruz isn't stupid. He knows what the Kochs are purchasing, and he's all too happy to self himself as that product. https://t.co/LJhwZC5Pdj
4mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MonaHol @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo Jesus would clearly shoot anybody that doesn't supplicate themselves to a cop.
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rcjparry And as I said ass licking cop troll.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @PhilPerspective @walterwkatz Three weeks is too long dammit! Can't wait for the Belgian!
7mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rcjparry Go fuck yourself
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Which is not to say that those people can't be cravenly neutered by paid, arguably fraudulent, shills like Lewinski https://t.co/YYmtpMZtjU
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry Not because they are right, but because the field has been fouled with total disingenuous crap.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry right. certainty and smooth presentation of BS that, even when countered, turns into expert battle that cops win.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz No, jackass, I am stupefied that there are recalcitrant apologists like you for abuse of force and murder by cops. https://t.co/kqcgaxn0de
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo How about you find one "actual scientist" who DOES agree. And, btw, Lewinski isn't one.
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bmaz @rcjparry @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Also. no maybe after 30yrs of watching this fraud Im "not classy". Screw that Uncle Albert
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