National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan

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Center For Security Policy:

Washington, D.C.: With the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote tomorrow on John Brennan’s nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has become clear that Senators simply do not have all the information necessary for an informed decision on so sensitive an appointment. In an effort to illuminate the nominee’s shortcomings that demand – but have yet to receive – close scrutiny, the Center for Security Policy convened avirtual press conference featuring video-taped comments by six of the country’s preeminent experts on, among other things, the threat of Islamism and Brennan’s blindness to it.

The video includes powerful statements by Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy;Chris Farrell, Vice President for Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, USA Ret., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and author of The Grand Jihad and Spring Fever; andStephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.

The video, National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan, compliments the Center’s other efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers about the dangers of a possible Brennan tenure at the CIA, including a collection of Brennan-related resources and several investigative pieces.

Andrew McCarthy–who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh who, twenty years ago yesterday, conspired to blow up the World Trade Center–said:

Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us.

Steve Emerson, one of the country’s preeminent counter-terrorism experts added:

John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States.

Zuhdi Jasser, a leader of anti-Islamist Muslims in America, warned that:

…The reports put out from [John Brennan's] counter-terrorism office at the White House…did not recognize the [Islamist] ideology. They noted a “radical ideology,” but didn’t name what it was — even though the word ‘ideology’ was mentioned twenty times. Our American-Islamic Leadership Coalition, that includes over 20 different reform-based organizations that are anti-Islamist, were not consulted. And, you can see from the report, that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. Unfortunately, John Brennan has had a very cozy relationship to these groups and has often used their talking points when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad, and the threat…. In every position Brennan has been it, he has been more a facilitator of Islamist groups rather than a counterweight to them, in order to oppose them and confront them.

The Center today also released a letter signed by fifteen conservative leaders – many of whom have extensive experience with national security policymaking and practice – calling on congressional leaders to launch a bicameral select committee to investigate the Benghazigate scandal. John Brennan’s involvement in the run-up to the murderous attack on September 11, 2012, his conduct during that seven-hour engagement and his role in the subsequent cover-up must be addressed before he is allowed, as Rep. Trent Franks recently put it “anywhere near the CIA, let alone running it.”

 

You can view the transcript at Center For Security Policy

 

Brennan: Unfit to Be CIA Head

330x198xM6moHahe9c7Z_jpg_pagespeed_ic_qACD3l0mhw By Clare Lopez:

Trentovision.tv set off a firestorm of commentary on its February 8, 2013 show when it broke the story about CIA Director nominee John Brennan having converted to Islam while he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

John Guandolo, a former Marine Corps platoon commander and senior FBI expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who retired in 2008, appeared via Skype with radio show host Tom Trento and reported that Brennan had been converted to Islam in a process observed by more than one U.S. official at the Riyadh Embassy that ought to have raised counterintelligence questions—but apparently didn’t.

The important take away from this startling account is actually less about a conversion/recruitment, though, and more about how Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood conditioning about Islam may have shaped Brennan’s thinking and understanding about Islam in a way that made him the perfect (even if unwitting) agent of influence whose subsequent rise within U.S. national security ranks placed him in key positions from which to direct U.S. policy on Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Much more at Radical Islam

Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at RadicalIslam.org and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez served for 20 years as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Bachmann: Say No to Brennan at CIA

Bachmann-BrennanBy Michele Bachmann:

I commend the effort by Senators Graham and Inhofe to get answers from the White House about Benghazi before a confirmation vote is held for John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Beyond mishandling Benghazi, additional items in Mr. Brennan’s background are cause for concern.

Brennan’s misunderstanding of the global jihadist threat facing America was on display during a February 2010 speech at New York University. Outlining his understanding of the War on Terror, Brennan claimed it wasn’t a war on terror at all, but a war targeted exclusively at Al-Qaeda:

They are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose, and there is nothing — absolutely nothing — holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children. We are not waging a war against terrorism because terrorism is but a tactic that will never be defeated, any more than a tactics of war will. Rather, such thinking is a recipe for endless conflict…We are at war with Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and any comment to the contrary is just inaccurate.

But the exclusive focus on Al-Qaeda as the sole enemy was rejected by none other than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the testimony she gave to the Senate Armed Service Committee just a few weeks ago, where she warned of a “spreading jihadist threat” in North Africa, one that is growing into a “global movement.”

So it seems that Brennan’s views are extreme even within the senior levels of the Obama administration.

Brennan said as a matter of national policy we needed to reach out to the ‘moderates’ in the Hezbollah terrorist organization, a view he apparently has held for a while as evidenced by a 2006 CSPAN interview where he said that “you can’t divide the world into good and evil.” “Moderate” terrorists?

It bears mentioning that prior to 9/11, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group in the world, not only the 238 Americans killed in the 1983 suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, but the kidnapping and death of U.S. Embassy CIA Station Chief William Buckley.

Read more at Breitbart

Benghazi: The Definitive Report

coverupby :

This Tuesday, White House Counter-Terrorism adviser John Brennan will sit  down for the closed door classified portion of his confirmation hearing.   Brennan brings a lot of baggage to the table and has taken some fire from both  the Left and the Right for his support of para-military activities and so-called  Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.  This last week we’ve seen puff piece  after puff piece as our 4th Estate absolutely gushes over John Brennan to pump  him up for the confirmation hearings that will determine whether or not he will  be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, filling the void left  by General Petraeus’ resignation.

Perhaps it is then a happy coincidence that the ebook I wrote with Brandon  Webb about Benghazi is coming out on the same day as Brennan’s classified  hearing.  The ebook will begin to peel back a few of the layers of secrecy  that have thus far protected John Brennan and some very shady activities  undertaken by the National Security Council.

The book includes many never before revealed details about the Libyan Civil  War and the post-war reconsolidation efforts undertaken by Private Military  Companies, the CIA, and Ambassador Chris Stevens.  This sets the stage for  the situation that led to the attack on the US Consulate (technically a  Temporary Mission Facility) in Benghazi.  We then tell it like it actually  happened that night and detail the heroic actions of Ty Woods and his fellow OGA  operators.  We will also shatter some myths and misconceptions about denied  air support and the resignation of General Petraeus.

Perhaps most damning is the question of why.  Why did the attack  happen?  What got AQIM elements operating under the Ansar Al-Sharia banner  so angry that they decided to over run the Consulate?  Perhaps events in  Egypt and a silly Youtube video helped some of the Sheiks mobilize a large group  of extremists but there is more to this situation.  Much more.   Ambassador Stevens and David Petraeus never could have seen what was  coming.  They were left in the lurch due to covert operations initiated by  the White House, a secret war in North Africa being orchestrated by John  Brennan.

Written by the team of former Special Operations warriors who run SOFREP.com,  here is the definitive account of what happened before, during, and after the  deadly Benghazi attack.

Read more at SOFREP

benghazi book

 

From The United West:

 

Oppose Brennan for CIA Director

imagesCAGPSB1RBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

To cut to the chase, a country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.

Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine – in conscious indifference to Sun Tzu’s maxim that defending oneself requires knowing one’s enemies. All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.

Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.

The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.

Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage.

As I detail in The Grand Jihad, which recounts the Muslim Brotherhood’s history, ideology, and self-proclaimed “civilization jihad” against the West, sabotage is the Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.

None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.

Read more at PJ Media

 

Obama CIA Nominee John Brennan Wrong for the Job

by Steven Emerson and John Rossomando:

Steve Emerson: The Danger of John Brennan at the CIA

imagesCAITBREOCenter for Security Policy Executive Vice President Fred Grandy filled in on the Washington Times radio show, and interviewed Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism regarding the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director.

Obama CIA nominee hedged on Hezbollah terrorists in 2006: ‘You can’t divide the world into good and evil’

john-brennan-450x300By Charles C. Johnson:

Although the president’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, led an unsuccessful effort in October to persuade European leaders to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, the man President Barack Obama has chosen to lead the CIA hasn’t always been convinced the label fits. Brennan argued from 2006 to 2010 for a more permissive view of the Iran-backed Lebanese militants best known in America for bombing a U.S. Marine barracks in 1983.

In an August 2006 C-SPAN interview, Brennan said the second-deadliest terror organization in U.S. history should be understood not as a thoroughly evil force, but as a “complex” organization with a “social and political nature.”

“Americans throughout the country really have to have a better sense of what’s going on in the world,” Brennan said in that interview, ”because world events affect our lives whether we live in Washington, or we live in Indiana, or in California. And unfortunately, sometimes there is an unsophisticated understanding of some of these challenges.” (RELATED: In graduate thesis, John Brennan argued for government censorship: “Too much freedom is possible”)

“For example … it would be nice to be able to put Hezbollah in a category of being totally evil, but Hezbollah as an organization is a very complex one that has terrorist arm to it. It has a social and political nature to it as well.”

“You can’t divide the world into good and evil,” Brennan continued. “There is a lot of good out there that tends to be camouflaged along with the evil. What we need to do as a government and a people is to really have a better appreciation of the needs and the challenges that people throughout the world face.”

Hezbollah, a dominant Shiite group in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the Oct. 23, 1983 truck bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 members of a U.S. peacekeeping military force. The attack marked the deadliest single day for the U.S. military since the beginning of the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam.

Earlier that same year, a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed 63 Americans in a blast that leveled portions of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

But Brennan’s remarks on C-SPAN, along with others he has made since then, suggest the Obama administration’s top spy will see America’s Middle Eastern foes in a different light.

“Though Brennan has made relatively few public statements, these should be understood as coming from Obama’s ‘counterterror brain,’” Center for Security Policy Strategic Communications Vice President David Reaboi told The Daily Caller. ”The massive strategic blunders, empowering Islamist groups around the globe, are right in line with Brennan’s worldview and almost certainly emanate from his office.”

Read more at Daily Caller

 

A World Without America

flag distressCenter for Security Policy

By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly declared that “a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.”  While that sentiment won’t be embraced in President Obama’s inaugural address next week, all other things being equal, it seems likely to be the practical effect of his second term.

Of course, Iran’s regime seeks a world literally without America.  More to the point, Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Tehran are working tirelessly to secure the means by which to accomplish that goal.  Specifically, they have or are developing the ability to engage in devastating electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, biological warfare and other asymmetric terrorist strikes.

For his part, Barack Obama seems to have in mind bringing about a world without America in a geo-strategic sense.  As Mark Steyn notes in a characteristically brilliant essay in National Review Online, that would be “Obamacare’s other shoe.” It would amount to a “fundamental transformation” of America’s place in the world, evidently intended to be the President’s second-act counterpart to the socialist transformation of this country that dominated his first term.

That agenda is strongly evident in Mr. Obama’s choices for key national security cabinet positions: John Kerry at the State Department, Chuck Hagel at Defense and John Brennan at the CIA.  The three are, like the President, imbued with a post-American, post-sovereignty, post-constitutional, transnationalist outlook.  In his administration, it would appear that their mission would be, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka puts it, to manage the United States’ decline.

Having addressed previously in this space the serious problems with the judgment, records and policy proclivities of Messrs. Hagel  and Kerry let’s consider those of John Brennan to further illustrate the syndrome.

Brennan is a textbook example of a U.S. official who has “gone native.”  He speaks Arabic and was formerly the top CIA officer in Saudi Arabia.  He has shown himself to be deeply sympathetic to Islamists — for example, excusing and dissembling about their commitment to jihad and the necessity of not offending them.

After President Obama himself, John Brennan is, arguably, the single most important enabler of the Islamic supremacists’ agenda in government today. In his role as Homeland Security Advisor to the President — a position that does not require Senate confirmation and that he was given as a consolation prize when it became clear that he might not be confirmable as CIA director back in 2009 — Brennan has helped legitimate, empower, fund, arm and embolden them abroad, and embraced and appeased them here at home.

Of particular concern is the fact that John Brennan has presided over: the policy of engaging the Muslim Brotherhood, which has consequently been portrayed by a politicized intelligence community as “largely secular” and “eschewing violence”; the shredding of training briefings and the proscribing of trainers that might upset Muslims by telling the truth about shariah and the jihad it commands; the penetration of U.S. agencies by Muslim Brotherhood-associated individuals as employees and/or senior advisors; and misrepresentations to Congress about the true, jihadist character of the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi last September 11th.

Of particular concern is the prospect that Team Obama’s second-term team will, if confirmed, be even more insistent than their predecessors on engaging Iran.  Make no mistake about it:  The practical effect will be to buy the regime in Tehran the last few months it evidently needs to achieve what it has sought for decades: the means to have the world not only bereft of America’s leadership and stabilizing force, but to neutralize and perhaps eliminate the United States as a 21st Century society.

Ordinarily, a president should be given wide latitude by the Senate to appoint those he wants to staff his administration.  This is no ordinary time, though, and this is no ordinary president or administration.  The circumstances are such that a Team Obama that is pursuing so dangerous a policy course must be challenged and impeded, not encouraged and abetted.

The Senate’s constitutional responsibility to confirm senior executive branch appointees is one of the few it hasn’t compromised, or allowed the president to expropriate.  It must exercise its authority to assure “quality control” with respect to his picks for top national security cabinet posts.

Indeed, the fact that President Obama seeks not one or two, but three individuals who share his determination to achieve the radical and dangerous national security transformation he seeks in his second term demands that Senators defy him.  After all, should the Senate fail to object to this trajectory by rigorously debating and defeating any — and preferably all — of these problematic choices, its members risk not only allowing, but becoming party to, the realization of a world without America.

Spooky pick for CIA

A close relationship Brennan (seated at right) working with Obama after Hurricane Irene hit during a presidential vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

A close relationship: Brennan (seated at right) working with Obama after Hurricane Irene hit during a presidential vacation on Martha’s Vineyard (MAI / Splash News)

By MICHAEL A. WALSH

The Senate — and the nation — should think long and hard before agreeing to President Obama’s choice of veteran spook John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

As I’ll explain below, the move would finalize the militarization of the agency — but that’s only the biggest problem.

Brennan, 57, is a careerist who spent a quarter-century with the CIA and now serves as Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser. In his agency days, he was an architect of “enhanced interrogation” techniques and overseas “rendition” prisons — history that put him under fire from left and right when his name was floated for CIA director in 2008, forcing him to withdraw.

A contradictory careerist, actually — since he’s long publicly proclaimed his opposition to waterboarding and other coercive methods of information-gathering.

The Arabic-speaking son of Irish immigrants, Brennan’s also an unabashed supporter of the killer-drone program, which he’s called “legal, ethical and wise.” Yet he’s also publicly soft on Islamic extremism, opposing use of the term “jihadists” and even calling jihad “a legitimate tenet of Islam.”

Throughout the intelligence community, he’s regarded as an empire-building, credit-grabbing apparatchik who’ll stop at nothing to get to the top of the greasy pole. For example, as head of the agency’s Terrorism Threat Intelligence Center in 2004, Brennan actively undercut his counterparts in the IC and at the Pentagon as he lobbied to become head of the new National Counter-Terrorism Center. (He only got to be acting director for a time.)

The hot-tempered Brennan also blew the existence of — and then tried to grab the credit for — a joint British-Saudi operation that disrupted a second underwear-bomber plot originating in Yemen last spring. By making it public, he risked exposing sources and methods in the ongoing fight against al Qaeda.

Civil libertarians should also be nervous. As the nation’s top counter-terrorism officer, Brennan oversaw last year’s decision (approved by Attorney General Eric Holder) — to allow the NCTC to access the government files of any US citizen, even without probable cause that they’re involved in terrorist activities.

That’s right — despite the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Federal Privacy Act of 1974, which was designed to prevent just such a thing — everything the feds know about you is now fair game for the spooks. (And they can keep it in their files for five years.)

Indeed, the ACLU has called for Brennan’s nomination to be put on hold; it also wants his role in enhanced interrogation and the drone program clarified.

On the right, Sen. Lindsey Graham has urged delay until the administration provides more details about what really happened in Benghazi last fall, when ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack that Brennan ought to have seen coming.

In short, despite Brennan’s on-paper qualifications for the job, it’s a nomination that ought to be stopped — and for reasons that go far beyond one man.

Read more at New York Post

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Obama to Nominate Hamas & Hezbollah Supporter as CIA Director

john-brennan-450x300By Daniel Greenfield

Just when you thought that Chuck Hagel was as bad as it was going to get, wait until you meet John Brennan. America, meet your new CIA Director.

Brennan gave a speech to Islamic law students at New York University, where he was introduced by Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America. Mattson, who had been involved with the Obama inaugural prayer service, had come under fire then for her organization’s longstanding terrorist support.

During his NYU speech, Brennan defended the administration’s highly unpopular move to try al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court (which the administration eventually backed away from). He claimed that terrorists are the real victims of “political, economic and social forces,” said that Islamic terrorists were not jihadists, referenced “Al-Quds” instead of Jerusalem, and described the 20 percent of former Guantanamo detainees returning to terrorist activities as “not that bad” when compared to ordinary criminal recidivism.

During a talk at the Nixon Center in May 2010, Brennan said that the administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Two weeks later, at a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Brennan defended the Islamic doctrines of jihad as “a holy struggle” and “a legitimate tenet of Islam.”

And Brennan has had a great track record so far. A truly spectacular track record which makes him unambiguously qualified to replace Petraeus.

a known top U.S. Hamas official had been given a guided tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and FBI Academy at Quantico under Brennan’s watch, several former top intelligence and defense officials again called for his resignation.

Last month, it was revealed that Brennan was implicated in a serious intelligence breach detailing an ongoing counterterrorism operation led by British and Saudi intelligence agencies that had placed an operative deep inside the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) organization. The White House leak forced the termination of the operation and the immediate withdrawal of the double agent, infuriating our foreign intelligence allies.

Just two weeks ago, internal White House documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request revealed that Brennan and other White House officials had met twice with Hollywood filmmakers preparing a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden, providing them unparalleled access including the identity of a SEAL Team 6 operator and commander along with other classified information. Amazingly, these high-level White House meetings between Brennan and the Hollywood filmmakers took place just weeks after the Pentagon and CIA had publicly warned of the dangers posed by leaks surrounding the successful SEAL raid killing bin Laden.

And if you still have any more doubts, here’s John Brennan’s views on terrorism direct from that notorious right-wing fearmongering outlet, The Nation

Brennan had told me (before taking a job in the Obama administration, but while serving as Obama’s top adviser on intelligence issues) that talking to Hamas and Hezbollah is the right thing to do.

The Wrong Man for the C.I.A.

By GREGORY D. JOHNSEN

WITH the resignation of David H. Petraeus, President Obama now has a chance to appoint a new C.I.A. director. Unfortunately, one of the leading candidates for the job is John O. Brennan, who is largely responsible for America’s current flawed counterterrorism strategy, which relies too heavily on drone strikes that frequently kill civilians and provide Al Qaeda with countless new recruits. Rather than keeping us safe, this strategy is putting the United States at greater risk.

For all of the Obama administration’s foreign policy successes — from ending the war in Iraq to killing Osama bin Laden — the most enduring policy legacy of the past four years may well turn out to be an approach to counterterrorism that American officials call the “Yemen model,” a mixture of drone strikes and Special Forces raids targeting Al Qaeda leaders.

Mr. Brennan is the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser and the architect of this model. In a recent speech, he claimed that there was “little evidence that these actions are generating widespread anti-American sentiment or recruits for A.Q.A.P.,” referring to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Mr. Brennan’s assertion was either shockingly naïve or deliberately misleading. Testimonies from Qaeda fighters and interviews I and local journalists have conducted across Yemen attest to the centrality of civilian casualties in explaining Al Qaeda’s rapid growth there. The United States is killing women, children and members of key tribes. “Each time they kill a tribesman, they create more fighters for Al Qaeda,” one Yemeni explained to me over tea in Sana, the capital, last month. Another told CNN, after a failed strike, “I would not be surprised if a hundred tribesmen joined Al Qaeda as a result of the latest drone mistake.”

Rather than promote the author of a failing strategy, we need a C.I.A. director who will halt the agency’s creeping militarization and restore it to what it does best: collecting human intelligence. It is an intelligence agency, not a lightweight version of Joint Special Operations Command. And until America wins the intelligence war, missiles will continue to hit the wrong targets, kill too many civilians and drive young men into the waiting arms of our enemies.

Without accurate on-the-ground intelligence, our policies will fail. George W. Bush launched two major ground invasions, and Mr. Obama has tried several smaller wars. Neither strategy has worked. In Yemen, which has been the laboratory for Mr. Obama’s shadow wars, A.Q.A.P. has more than tripled in size after three years of drone strikes. When the United States started bombing Yemen in 2009, A.Q.A.P. had just 200 to 300 fighters. Today, the State Department estimates it has a few thousand. Since 2009, the group has attempted to attack America on three occasions, coming closest on Dec. 25, 2009, when a would-be suicide bomber narrowly failed to bring down an airliner over Detroit. When it tries again — and it will — the organization will be able to draw upon much deeper ranks.

Not surprisingly, American officials reject the claim that current policy is exacerbating the problem. In June 2011, Mr. Brennan declared that “there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities we’ve been able to develop.” This came almost exactly a year after a botched drone attack in Yemen killed a deputy governor and four of his bodyguards instead of the intended target.

Under Mr. Brennan’s guidance, the United States has also adopted a controversial method for determining how many civilians it has killed, counting all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants. This means that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old American citizen killed by a drone in October, was classified as a militant despite evidence that he was simply a shy teenager whose father happened to be Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been killed by American missiles two weeks earlier.

Read more at NYT

‘EU to mull listing Hezbollah as terror group’

Photo: REUTERS

By Benjamin Weinthal

BERLIN – A discussion is under way within the EU about possibly listing  Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Austria’s Foreign Ministry informed The  Jerusalem Post on Saturday.

Austria appears to be the first EU country to  acknowledge that that the 27- member body has begun a process to designate the  Lebanese Shi’ite group as a terrorist organization.

He noted that  Hezbollah is not only represented in Lebanon’s parliament but is part of its  government, with two ministers in the cabinet.

“A listing of the  Hezbollah could, therefore, have immediate effects on the security of the  country and the stability of the government,” Schallenberg continued.

He  noted that Lebanon President Michel Suleiman seeks to create a “national  dialogue” in his country, with the goal of, for example, integrating Hezbollah’s  fighters and weapons into the state’s security forces. Schallenberg said that  the EU has up until now clearly supported Suleiman’s efforts.

He stressed  that it is important that the EU find a “joint position, especially in light of  the situation in Syria.”

News organizations reported that Hezbollah’s  militias joined forces with Syria’s regime to suppress the Syrian  rebellion.

The division among EU countries revolves around whether to  designate the entire Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, or just parts of  it.

Michel Malherbe, a spokesman for the Belgium Foreign Ministry, told  the Post on Thursday: “We believe that it could make sense, instead of qualifying Hezbollah  as a whole, to isolate armed subgroups, or individuals. This method has proven  its merits, and deserves a try.”

Critics of this approach (treating armed  wings separately from political branches) point to a statement from Hezbollah’s  No. 2 leader, Naim Qassem, who said in 2009: “Hezbollah has a single  leadership,” and “All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions  of this leadership.”

Qassem added, “The same leadership that directs the  parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle  against Israel.”

The United Kingdom classifies Hezbollah’s military wing  as a terrorist organization, but recognizes its political wing as a legitimate  political party. The Netherlands designated Hezbollah as whole to be a terrorist  group. Both Dutch and British foreign ministers have urged their EU counterparts  to place Hezbollah on the EU terror list.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

America’s Nameless War With a Nameless Enemy

President Obama speaks at a memorial for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting (Photo: Reuters)

by: Daniel Mandel:

In the final presidential debate on October 22, President Barack Obama spoke briefly about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. officials and personnel in Benghazi. He outlined why the U.S. had gone into Libya before the attack. He outlined the answers he is still seeking following the attack. But he did not say why this terrorist attack had occurred or why the U.S. had been ill-prepared to meet it in what is, after all, a volatile city alive with militias recently freed from dictatorial rule. Nor did he tell us why his Administration strenuously avoided calling it a terrorist attack for two weeks, preferring instead to speak of a spontaneous assault in the course of a demonstration of Muslims offended by an anti-Muhammad video.

The implication of this apologetic gloss of the first two weeks is obvious: The Administration was saying that Ambassador Chris Stevens was not murdered by Islamists who hate America and its allies and mean to attack us again; he was the victim of the local reaction to one of the products of American freedom of speech.

Once the attack was acknowledged as the handiwork of terrorists , however,  the perpetrators were cited as being the followers of Al Qaeda, virtually the only officially acknowledged extremists. And here lies the problem: The Obama Administration will not acknowledge that an extreme and violent segment of the Muslim world ranging far beyond the confines of Al Qaeda is at war with us. To do so would have required him to explain why the U.S. had been empowering Islamists, including in Libya, some of whom may have been responsible for leaking information that enabled the terrorists to locate and kill the Americans.

Just why and how has this refusal to name the Islamist enemy come to characterize the four years of Obama’s presidency? President Obama agrees with the view that Islamists as a force in world affairs are not be shunned and that wisdom dictates coming to terms with those among them who are hot engaged in active hostilities at this moment. This view, however, is defective, because common to all Islamists is Muslim supremacism and the undeviating pursuit to subvert the non-Islamic world.

Yet, since Barack Obama took office, Islamist antagonists, other than those involved in active hostilities like Al Qaeda and the Taliban, whose hostility cannot be denied or ignored, have gone unnamed. Presidential statements on the anniversaries of the 1983 killing of 242 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon by  Hezballah or the 1979 seizure by Islamist students of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, to name two examples, failed to even mention the perpetrators of these acts, as it had become U.S. policy to propitiate both Hezbollah and the Islamists.

Indeed, the Obama Administration has refused to associate attacks on America by Islamists with Islam. Administration officials have spent four years speaking about particular terrorists at home and abroad as isolated “extremists,” even when Islamist terrorist connections were readily traceable (for example, the connection between the Fort Hood sniper Nidal Hassan and the American-born Al Qaeda in Yemen leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, who advised him).

In a May 2010 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney-General Eric Holder only grudgingly and hypothetically conceded that radical Islam could be the inspiration for some individuals involved in recent acts of terrorism, before immediately asserting that such people were acting on a “version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it.”

Similarly, in March 2011, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told a Muslim audience that extremists in their midst “falsely claim to be fighting in the name of Islam.” When Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, held hearings on homegrown radical Islam the same month, the Administration publicly opposed it.

The Administration has also expressly disavowed the use of terms like “Islamism,” “radical Islam,” and “jihad.” In May 2009, John O. Brennan, Obama’s Chief National Security Adviser for Counterterrorism, contended that use of such terms “would lend credence” to the notion “that the United States is somehow at war against Islam … Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.”

Such refurbishment of the term jihad – war waged against non-believers to extend and secure the dominion of Islam, which is a religious duty and which, according to authoritative Muslim sources, may at least at times be waged against civilians on the opposing side — at once sanitizes it and precludes its use. Nor has it been explained how ignoring the ideology animating the terrorists somehow renders America at peace with those jihadists who regard themselves at war with the U.S.

Adding to the Administration’s philological ingenuities, terrorist attacks themselves have been rechristened by the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, “man-caused disasters” and military campaigns against their perpetrators “in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and around the globe” relabeled by the Defense Department “overseas contingency operations.”

The problem is not a matter of mere nomenclature but goes to heart of analysis and policy formulation. Homeland Security’s Domestic Extremism Lexicon, produced in March 2009, listed Christian and Jewish extremism, but not Islamic extremism, jihad or anything related to these; in fact, the word “Islamic” appeared only twice in it, both times in the context of discussing “non-Islamic extremism.” The February 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report was similarly silent on the subject.

In October 2011, Deputy Attorney-General James Cole announced that the recall of all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security agencies in order to eliminate all references to Islam, following objections from two Muslim Brotherhood fronts, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

MPAC president Salam al-Marayati – of whom more later — had threatened a cut-off of cooperation between American Muslims and the FBI and demanded a “clear and unequivocal apology to the Muslim American community” by the Justice Department as well as the creation of an inter-agency task force to prepare new manuals.

The Obama Administration has not only dissociated Islam from the terrorist assaults of Islamists and refurbished the English language and the Muslim glossary to foreclose on the possibility of drawing any connection between the two, but it has also courted local Islamists.

Read more at Radical Islam

Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University. His blog can be found on the History News Network.

This article appeared originally in The American Spectator.

Obama’s National Security Advisor

By Alan Caruba:

If you are wondering why the Obama administration was slow  acknowledge the attack on our Benghazi consulate that killed our Libyan  ambassador and three others and concocted lies about it, it helps to know who is  advising the President. My commentary from March 14, 2012, provides part of  the answer:

There’s a YouTube video of John Brennan, the President’s national security  advisor, praising Islam and the Arab culture to an unidentified group of Arabs  that is so revealing that it should be probable cause for his removal from  office. At one point, he addresses them in fluent Arabic, a language acquired in  his studies and CIA posts over the years.

When the British Empire  spanned much of the globe there was a turn for men who embraced the culture and  nations to which they were assigned. They were deemed to have “gone native”,  often wearing Arab garb and becoming apologists for their actions. Among the  most famous was Lawrence of Arabia, but there were many others such as  Lieutenant-General, Sir John Bagot Glub, widely known as Glub Pasha, best known  for leading and training Jordan’s Arab Legion from 1939 to 1956, the same Legion  that took part in attacks on Israel after it declared independence in 1948.
In the video, Brennan waxes poetic about Arab culture. In 1977 Brennan had  received a degree in political science from Fordham University. During his  studies he had spent his junior year learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern  studies courses at the American University in Cairo. He received a Master of  Arts degree in government with a concentration in Middle East studies from the  University of Texas at Austin in 1980.

His career in the Central  Intelligence Agency was one in which he reached the highest rungs as an analyst,  serving at one point as a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton.  In 1996, he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when the Khobar  Towers, a housing complex was blown up by a truck bomb, killing nineteen U.S.  servicemen billeted there. He would serve under CIA Director George Tenet as the  director of its newly created Terrorist  Threat Integration  Center from 2003 to  2004. He would serve as director of the CIA’s National Counterterrorism  Center  from 2004 to 2005.

One might assume from such an impressive resume that  Brennan was the idea man to be appointed President Barack Hussein Obama’s chief  counterintelligence advisor with the title of Deputy National Security Advisor  for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

One might assume that, but  Brennan, from his earliest days in that post made a number of statements and  authored a USA Today opinion editorial that revealed deeply felt sympathies for  the very people who were and are attacking Americans at home and overseas. In  his USA Today opinion, Brennan criticized “Politically motivated criticism and  unfounded fear-mongering that only serve the goals of al Qaeda.”

Commenting on Brennan’s USA Today opinion, Jeb Babbin, in an article for Human Events  on February 11, 2010, wrote of Brennan and the Obama administration’s  incomprehensible national security actions, “Consider their consistent record of  bad decisions only one year into Obama’s presidency: to close the terrorist  detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; to move Khalid Sheik Mohammed and  four other al Qaeda varsity out of the military commissions system and try them  in civilian criminal court; to war against the intelligence community; to put  the White House in charge of interrogations of captured terrorists; and, most  recently, the hasty decision to put the Christmas Day underwear bomber, Umar  Farouk Abdulmutallab, in civilian custody thus preventing professional  intelligence interrogators from having access to him.”

Babbin  characterized Brennan’s USA Today article as “a string of fibs and misleading  statements so easily disproved (that) it leaves observers wondering about  Brennan’s sanity.”

Read more at Family Security Matters

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Alan Caruba  writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The  National Anxiety  Center, and he blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. His book, Right  Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy“, is published by Merrill  Press.
John Brennan praises President Obama’s counterterror policies in April 2012 before 9/11 Embassy attacks and subsequent cover up:

He says Al Qaeda is in decline and that “the Al Qaeda core is simply no longer relevant”. He says that the American people are safer today because of this administration’s efforts. He closes by saying that Al Qaeda is the antithesis of the peace, tolerance and humanity that is the hallmark of Islam.

The inept Benghazi cover up was all about protecting the president’s image on foreign policy ahead of the elections. And it has Brennan’s fingerprints all over it.

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