In Defense of John Brennan

In the coming weeks and months the CIA will be critiqued by the U.S. public writ large over a report detailing the enhanced interrogation techniques that the Bush Administration used to glean information from detainees at not only Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but also at secret black sites via extraordinary renditions where the persons were then detained and tortured by foreign governments at the behest of the U.S. government. There will also be, in the coming months, extraordinary attention given to a new issue for the agency. Namely the eavesdropping on Senate Intelligence Committee computers allegedly an order to detail potential misappropriations of the data stored on those computers for use outside of the senate. The congress is mad on both sides of the aisle and is demanding accountability: Specifically the resignation of Director John Brennan, and the firing and possible legal repercussions for the employees that allegedly committed these acts. And while I cannot vouch for the wherewithal of people that I don’t know (i.e. the CIA employees) I can take a critical look at John Brennan’s tenure in both the White House, and the agency and without a doubt can say that he’s the right man to lead the agency at this perilous time.

Why? Well first of all according to reports though John Brennan worked at the agency in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks he was kept out of the loop on the important torture memo details which the senate report details and which will be released in the coming weeks. This makes him not culpable for any and all actions others might have taken in such a highly compartmentalized environment.

Secondly he was with the President during the momentous occasion of the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan. This makes him somewhat of a hero in the halls of the agency since he was one of the President’s point men on this occasion. So then sacking him at a time where it seems like the Middle East is losing its grip on peace and security, and in a world where the Russians will shoot down airliners packed with civilians it’s times like these more than ever that we need a strong leader to help navigate these tough and perilous waters. Sacking the Director of Central Intelligence now would deplete the morale of the agency as it would lose one of its top billings.

Third most the Idea for an Inspector General (IG) to investigate the computer hacking at the senate offices was completely John Brennan’s idea. And though he was vehement that no hacking occurred, and though we have yet to see the IG’s report it’s clear from the statements that he has made recently that indeed hacking did occur and that he probably didn’t know about it as he very publicly and very vehemently denied the idea that hacking was taking place. So then to somehow pin the blame on Director Brennan that he somehow orchestrated the breaking in is ludicrous and a red herring at best.

John Brennan is a career public servant who has served with honor and distinction at both the agency and the White House during crucial moments in our Nation’s history. His credentials are unimpeachable and his reputation as a hard driving team player who knows how to get things done is unrepentantly deserved. For those that are calling for his resignation I would say look only to the man’s service to know that you can trust him and for those looking for a sacrificial lamb I would remind them that we don’t usually throw the baby out with the bath water, particularly in such a hostile and volatile environment that we have experienced as of late.

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