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?

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+2Email to someone

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

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel EO 12333, under which NSA conducts most of its spying? OLC ruled that "“An executive order cannot limit a President." http://t.co/Y6LHNv2mIX
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Another thing missing from the EO12333 discussion: How George Bush pixie dusted the order, without telling anyone. http://t.co/Y6LHNv2mIX
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Eclectablog Just till Saturday. It's a Halloween costume.
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @Eclectablog: Republican Mike Bishop, candidate in MI-08, has had a VERY bad couple of weeks http://t.co/0YL9dElpMv
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel <<<< turning blue holding my breath tho I was wondering what @csoghoian was having so much fun working on. @NateWessler @onekade
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade If only some NGO can sic someone like @NateWessler on that issue.
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthewstoller Don't you say that or Chiquita's big GOP donors will take their bananas and defect to Brazi--oh wait. Too late.
39mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel DOJ IG knows how to keep GOP in his camp, releases new report showing ATF/AZ USA failures on investigation. http://t.co/AuaDNi9jHM
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel As US prepares to withdraw, ISAF decided to start hiding details on ANSF troop capability. https://t.co/BjsPXBeubI (Reup fr @JimWhiteGNV)
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kennwhite So, jesus, I have a string of a gazillion UID characters that shows up on my ATT iPhone. Still no good way to get rid of it?
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV I hear that'll ruin the rice cooker. @onekade
49mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @onekade More like Badassmati rice, amirite? @emptywheel
50mreplyretweetfavorite
November 2013
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930