President Obama this afternoon nominated Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan to head the CIA. Brennan’s White House tenure has been marred by controversy.
His handling of the infamous Christmas Day “underwear bomber” led several Republican senators to call for his resignation. In particular, his critics slammed the administration’s rush to treat the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as a criminal rather than an enemy combatant. Asked what the drawbacks of treating him as an enemy combatant were, Brennan infamously responded, “There’s — there are no downsides or upsides in particular cases. What we’re trying to do is to make sure we apply the right tool in the right instance. In this case, we made a determination that he should be tried in U.S. criminal court.”
Below, the rest of Brennan’s greatest hits:
- He claimed to be untroubled by the 20 percent recidivism rate among Guantanamo detainees: “You know, the American penal system, the recidivism rate is up to something about 50 percent or so, as far as return to crime. Twenty percent isn’t that bad.”
- According to a former CIA official, John Brennan was “instrumental in preventing…an operation in 1998 that would have killed or captured Osama Bin Laden.”
- He supported direct talks with Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization, second only to al-Qaeda in the number of Americans it has killed.
- Brennan is the leader behind America’s push to kill rather than capture almost all suspected terrorists, thus depriving us of possible intelligence.
- He was one of the driving forces behind the aborted trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City: “We are trying to push this forward as best we can, but we also need non-obstruction from certain forces in our government. . . There are stiff winds delaying us from bringing this man to justice.”