Mr. Moral Rectitude’s Sleazy Payment

According to Defense News, John Brennan was paid roughly $2,090 a day while working for The Analysis Corporation in 2008. He was paid roughly $8,496 for each of the 20 days he worked in 2009 before he became Obama’s counterterrorism czar.

A review of Brennan’s financial disclosure reports indicates that in 2009, TAC paid him a total of $169,923 in salary and bonus, which has not been previously reported. The financial disclosure reports, submitted as required of all White House employees, don’t say why he’d receive a bonus if he was leaving the company to join the government, or why he’d received such a large salary if he worked for the company for only 20 days that year.

In November 2008, two months before Brennan joined the Obama administration, TAC announced that the CEO was taking a “leave of absence” from the firm. That is, it is not clear that he was actually on the clock for the transition period before he received that $169,000.

Mind you, this isn’t anything that such illustrious people as Dick Cheney haven’t already done (and in larger figures, too).

Tim Shorrock provided some background on the company in his book.

There were questions about Brennan’s ties to his former company when it was part of the investigation into the failure to connect-the-dots before the UndieBomber attempted to strike the US, though as part of an ethics waver he agreed to recuse himself from anything specifically pertaining to TAC. 

The White House has granted a special ethics waiver to allow President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser to conduct a review of the intelligence and screening breakdown that preceded the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt on an American passenger plane over Detroit.


Mr. Brennan, who was a longtime C.I.A. officer, needed the waiver because for more than three years before his current post he was chief executive of the Analysis Corporation, an intelligence firm that provides services to the government. Norm Eisen, the White House ethics counsel, wrote on the White House Web site on Wednesday that Mr. Brennan’s past ties to the company, were outweighed by his knowledge of the nation’s intelligence system.

And, of course, Brennan’s the guy who has sacrificed US privacy to get more data in databases.

The umbrella company that has absorbed TAC continues to get lots of contracts doing intelligence analysis.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

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