John Brennan Says All the Bad Reports about CIA Are Inaccurate

Kudos to Jan Schakowsky, who used today’s hearing on global threats to ask John Brennan some of the questions he so rarely gets asked.

She started by asking him generally about drones and his previous public comments about them. He responded by noting that he was a White House figure then, now he’s CIA Director (implying, I guess, that he shouldn’t be held to his previous comments).

She then asked specifically about Jonathan Landay’s reporting on the drone strikes — which, as you’ll recall, is reported directly from intelligence reports on drone strikes. Brennan responded, “A lot of things in press are reported inaccurately, in my opinion.” (Mind you, Landay’s reports did give Brennan an excuse for having lied so blatantly about civilian casualties in the past, so I guess his reporting is inaccurate, even though it helps Brennan!)

Schakowsky then asked about the difference between targeted and signature strikes. Brennan pointed back to the earlier dog and pony show on drones, which pretended signature strikes didn’t exist.

Schakowsky then asked for an update on the torture report. Brennan revealed he had spoken with Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss earlier this week. He told them he was in the process of reviewing the report (keep in mind, the original response to SSCI was due February 15, almost two months ago) and was doing a “thorough” review of some things he believed the committee did not report accurately.

If you’re John Brennan, if internal reports on drones make the CIA look bad, and if internal reports on torture make the CIA look bad, they are by definition inaccurate.

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.

5 replies
  1. BearCountry says:

    @emptywheel: It’s even more that fealty to the cia: he’s an apparatchik of the first order and wants the govt to be able to operate in secret with reporters acting only as stenographers and not straying from the veal pen.

  2. P J Evans says:

    Ego, because he doesn’t seem to believe that rules apply to him. I’ll agree to loyalty to the CIA. (I wonder if that would continue if he lost his paycheck from them?)

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