John Brennan: “Gone Native,” or Always Already Native?

In a piece laying out how, rather than shift drone strikes to DOD (as much of the press credulously claimed John Brennan planned to do while he was still in the White House), the Executive will instead merge CIA and DOD operations more closely, Greg Miller includes this line.

One senior administration official said Brennan had “gone native” since moving into the director’s office on the CIA’s seventh floor.

Gone native! “The horror! The horror!”

To rebut that claim, some anonymous sources close to Mr. Kurt — um, I mean Mr. Brennan — suggest Brennan never intended to hand over all of the drone program to DOD.

U.S. officials close to Brennan disputed that characterization, saying he remains committed to the White House goal. But they acknowledged that there is still no timetable for reaching it, and that Brennan never envisioned a complete CIA withdrawal from the drone program.

When Brennan speaks of “traditional” military activities, he “is referring to the military conducting lethal ‘finishing’ operations, i.e. ‘dropping ordnance,’ ” the intelligence official said, meaning the agency would remain involved in tracking terrorist groups and identifying targets even if it ultimately surrenders its authority to execute strikes.

And in fact, those anonymous sources are correct, as anyone who actually read closely what Brennan said in his confirmation testimony would know. While a bunch of credulous reporters parroted what was surely the impression Brennan chose to create at the time — that he intended to take CIA out of the drone and paramilitary business — he always distinguished what he considered CIA’s well-established (think OSS) paramilitary role from “traditional military activities.”

And now we’re learning that by the latter — TMA — Mr. Kurtz only meant pressing the button.

What a surprise. To the DC press corps, but not to Emptywheel readers.

You see, the evidence suggests Brennan was always “native,” the entire time he was in the White House. Perhaps the Senior Administration Officials only now discovering he “went native” decades ago might reconsider the policies he convinced them to believe were their own?

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5 Responses to John Brennan: “Gone Native,” or Always Already Native?

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz ESPN boys are talking up Ryan Lindley. Maybe NBC is paying them to hype tonight's game. Cause Lindley versus @DangeRussWilson is #SquawkTalk
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bmaz @JWGOP If there is not a Number 2 jersey involved, you are totally slacking.
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JimWhiteGNV @bsonenstein Thanks, Brian.
28mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Is Pat Lynch still employed as a spokesman for NYC cops today? If so, why? What a disgrace to men and women who wear the blue uniform.
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emptywheel @downi94 Broth is also really easy, so soup too.
51mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Hey, @mortreport just made a Burl Ives reference! Drink!!
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Anthrax attack, which Bush rushed to blame on Iraq, remains unsolved. https://t.co/MqbHAwVvOS Maybe good lesson why not to rush v. NK?
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @downi94 Roast a chicken (if you have a pan). Really really high return on simple prep.
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emptywheel @GregJKrieg People might actually start to question his factual claims when he can no longer pretend he learned it in a Top Secret brief.
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emptywheel @GregJKrieg In his own mind, absolutely.
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emptywheel RT @bmaz: As you wait for "independent" Goodell/NFL/Rice report of Robert Mueller Matchsticks recall he sandbagged Amerithrax https://t.co/
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emptywheel Shorter Mike Rogers: Damnit, Obama, why can't you start an ill-considered war w/nuke power while I'm still relevant??http://t.co/kENcHkw5oF
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