But Brennan Didn’t Fuck His Biographer!

Brennan with TorturePresident Obama made a bunch of news today with the following.

On Brennan and the CIA, the RDI report has been transmitted, the declassified version that will be released at the pleasure of the Senate committee.

I have full confidence in John Brennan.  I think he has acknowledged and directly apologized to Senator Feinstein that CIA personnel did not properly handle an investigation as to how certain documents that were not authorized to be released to the Senate staff got somehow into the hands of the Senate staff.  And it’s clear from the IG report that some very poor judgment was shown in terms of how that was handled.  Keep in mind, though, that John Brennan was the person who called for the IG report, and he’s already stood up a task force to make sure that lessons are learned and mistakes are resolved.

With respect to the larger point of the RDI report itself, even before I came into office I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong.  We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.  We did some things that were contrary to our values.

I understand why it happened.  I think it’s important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon had been hit and the plane in Pennsylvania had fallen, and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent, and there was enormous pressure on our law enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this.  And it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had.  And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.

But having said all that, we did some things that were wrong.  And that’s what that report reflects.

Amidst calls for Brennan’s firing, Obama basically responded, “Sure, we tortured some folks, but I still have confidence in the guy who found the waterboard and black sites at which to torture.”

But I’m not sure why folks are so surprised by Obama’s reluctance to criticize Brennan for lying about hacking the SSCI. Aside from the mutual complicity — Brennan was personal witness to each and every drone strike Obama approved that violated international law, after all — CIA Directors don’t get fired for lying.

They get fired for fucking their biographer.

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bmaz RT @AP_NFL: AP sources: Tom Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday deadline (@ap_robmaaddi) #NFL http://t.co/zpPZFHO5P5
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bmaz @BradMossEsq @AdamSerwer Well, you are a competent attorney, so, no, probably not.
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol No, on the whole, I think juries do MUCH better than many people think.
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bmaz @JeffreyToobin @fedcourts Nope. That hope appears to have vanished when more were not nominated and pushed previously.
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emptywheel @DanielLarison We have a lot of democracy to share.
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol I have done an awful lot of jury trials, and I think you are selling juries short as a whole. They work.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule On the second one, which is quite lovely.
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emptywheel Phone dragnet is most important thing ever. Unless Mitch McConnell might suffer embarrassment for his hubris. In which case it's "trivial"
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emptywheel Devin Nunes, of fight to continue the little-used but "important" phone dragnet: "really trivial" http://t.co/qwG5rYyIVV
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bmaz @quinnnorton @MonaHol The courtroom is a different place, I can understand the frustration though.
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