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.