>Email me your name,and name of the prospective CIA director and I’ll forward your credentials to Obama
The darndest thing happened. Nobody wants to direct the CIA, so I am solliciting names and address of those interested. This is the top spy job in the Obama administration–it will be soon, but only if we can find someone brave and stupid enough to take the job.
John Brennan abruptly quit as a candidate to be CIA director. We don’t know exactly why. Oh, he has his feeble reasons, but we can only speculate on the reasons. It’s either because he’s yellow, blue or red–figuratively and graphically speaking, of course. No, he is not red because that connotes commie. No, he is not blue because he has not been water boarded yet.
Oh, I must warn you who want this half-million a year job. One of the Obama requirements is that you must pass the water boarding test. That means they put you on an incline board–head slightly lower than your feet. They put a cellophane over your face and pour copious amounts of water on you. It’s known to work famously–you either pea your pants or get a terrible gagging sensation, like you’re drowning. If you can last this for one-half hour without dying you may get the job.
Undeniably, you will go blue in the gills. Thus the blue test. If the detainee doesn’t breakdown and get hypothermia in an ice cold vat, we give him the extreme heat treatment. That’s the red test again.
Yellow means cowardess. I don’t accuse Richard Brennen of that, but I do accuse all those others who want the job but don’t send me their emails and resumes which we plan to print here in AngstBlogger. Don’t worry, our readers will pick the best man.. . or maybe a woman. There are a lot of tough broads out there. That is if that’s okay with President-elect Obama.
Brennan had another reason for declining the job, we surmised. It was that he was in on the planning for the various tortures Bush approved for Gitmo and the other places of torture. “There are approximately 500 men who have been treated with complete and utter disdain – the antipathy of the American value of recognizing the basic human dignity of all people. It isn’t surprising that after years of uncertainty about their fate, some of these men have expressed their intention to die rather than remain in Guantanamo indefinitely,” added Schulz.
Amnesty International also revealed further details on the cases of Al-Jazeera journalist Sami al Hajj, transferred to Guantanamo in June 2002 after spending time in detention in Bagram and Kandahar, and Abdulsalam al-Hela, a Yemeni businessman, subjected to rendition and secret detention before being transferred to “Guant a1namo.” Amnesty International is urging Congress to create an independent commission to investigate all aspects of U.S. detention and interrogation policies including the dozens of reports of torture and ill treatment that have taken place since 2002 and to take measures to prevent torture from recurring in the future.
All of this speculation has caused Brennen to have “cold feet,” literally and it
could complicate Barack Obama‘s efforts to assemble a national security team untainted by past policies of the Bush administration. It is also a potential signal of more battles on the intelligence front in the weeks ahead, since many of the other names that have been prominently mentioned for CIA director or director of National Intelligence have their own ties to the intelligence community that include carrying out controversial policies under President Bush.
Brennan, a 25-year intelligence-community veteran, had been a top adviser to Obama on intelligence issues during the campaign and served as a leader of the Obama transition team for the intelligence community. “He was our guy on intelligence,” one top Obama adviser told NEWSWEEK (who like all Obama advisors asked not to be identified speaking about personnel matters.) But Brennan made his surprise decision to pull his name from the CIA search after getting pummeled over the past few days by liberal critics for his alleged role in the use of abusive interrogation techniques against high-value Al Qaeda targets during a period he served as a top CIA official under George Tenet.
A transition official confirms that Brennan, who once served as Tenet’s chief of staff and was the CIA’s deputy executive director between 2001 and 2003, had indeed been under “consideration” to be Obama’s director at Langley. But after news of his possible nomination leaked over the weekend,
liberal bloggers and others began attacking the prospective selection as a betrayal of Obama’s pledge to put an end to the policies of the past eight years. “Break with the Dark Side. Do Not Nominate John Brennan as CIA Director,” read the headline on an open letter to Obama released on Monday by 200 psychologists opposed to harsh interrogation techniques. Other groups, including one consisting of law professors, say they were poised to weigh-in against Brennan as well.
The irony is that though Brennan would have been a participant in some of the discussions over U.S. interrogation policy, he was never a decision-maker on such issues. Indeed, he insisted in a stinging public retort today that it has been “immaterial to the critics” that he had actually been a “strong opponent of many of the policies of the Bush administration such as the pre-emptive war in Iraq, and coercive interrogation tactics, to include waterboarding.”
This writer must say, Brennen just got cold feet. Whether he was on record against the war or not, his name is highly implicated in all the torture plans.
Still, Brennan wrote in his letter to President-elect Obama (and released by the transition staff) that he did not want the issue of his role in Bush administration policies to be a “distraction” and therefore wanted to withdraw from consideration as CIA director. But the real reason is personal to Brennan. He doesn’t want those 500 foreigners who have been tortured to come after him.
Come to think of it, he’s not only afraid of torture, he’s against it at all costs. The bottom line is he’s afrid of the negative criticism he, personally, will take. He doesn’t care about the flack Obama will take.
The big question is now who else might Obama select for CIA director (or director of National Intelligence) that does not have similar baggage? Consider Brennan’s co-leader on the transition team for the intelligence agencies—Jamie Miscik. She too served at the agency as deputy director for intelligence until 2004, during a period the CIA was colossally wrong about Iraqi weapons of destruction; and actively helped the president make his case for war. Yes, a woman would be perfect. Let’s nominate her, then we could be equal to NCIS, that wonderful TV show about the Navy’s Intelligence Service. Another name that has been mentioned is John McLaughlin, a well-respected intelligence professional who nonetheless was the No. 2 in command during both the run-up to the war in Iraq and the approval of harsh interrogation techniques. Yet a third possibility that has been floated is allowing Michael Hayden, the current CIA director, to stay on the job for a while. But that too seems a non-starter: Obama voted against Hayden’s confirmation to be CIA director because of his prior role, as director of the National Security Agency, in implementing the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. A spokesman for Hayden said today the director “serves at the pleasure of the president. If he’s asked to stay, he’d consider it, given his respect for the people he leads and his obvious interest in the mission of intelligence. But he’s not hanging around waiting for word.”
That doesn’t mean that others candidates won’t surface—or that there aren’t other intelligence community professionals out there who might fit the bill, and be free of any Bush administration “taint.” (One possibility: John Gannon, a former chairman of the National Intelligence Council under President Clinton.) But Brennan’s downfall could set a precedent that might make life a lot harder for Obama as he seeks to bring his own team to the intelligence community without offending his liberal base.
The above is taken and adapted from
Terror Watch appearing weekly on Newsweek.com.