It's the Big Brother Spying, Mr. Brennan!
I hereby nominate John Brennan to become Barack Obama’s Director of Central Whining. Brennan is busy whining today because he has been forced to withdraw his name for consideration to be the next head of the CIA.
Brennan complains that he has been wrongly accused of supporting George W. Bush’s use of torture, because, although he supported Bush’s use of torture in public interviews, he secretly was opposing the torture policies behind the scenes. As corroborating evidence that he was dishonestly posing as a supporter of torture while really being an opponent, Brennan can only muster his word. There’s no proof that Brennan ever did anything to oppose torture while working within the Bush Administration – nothing other than his say-so. That say-so, Mr. Brennan, isn’t worth much, and that lack of credibility alone is sufficient reason for Brennan to be denied the position of Director of Central Intelligence.
The truth about the opposition to John Brennan, however, is that it has to do with a lot more than just Brennan’s flip flopping accounts about whether he’s a torture supporter or not. A great deal of the opposition to John Brennan has to do with is support for Big Brother government spying.
John Brennan was one of the key figures who convinced Barack Obama to vote in favor of the FISA Amendments Act in the summer of 2008. That’s a big problem, because the FISA Amendments Act:
1. Retroactively legalized a massive electronic dragnet used to spy on the personal communications of millions of Americans within the borders of the USA
2. Allows physical searches of Americans’ homes and offices without any search warrant or other proof that the person being spied upon is suspected of involvement in any crime
3. Enables the same kind of rules-free spying against Americans as they use the Internet, telephone and other electronic communications networks
4. Names only one person as having the authority necessary to stop spying against American citizens – the Attorney General of the USA. The Attorney General, it so happens, is the same person authorized under the FISA Amendments Act to initiate the warrantless spying against Americans in the first place. So, the Attorney General is established as the only watchdog on the Attorney General’s own spying programs!
5. Outrageous abuses of the FISA Amendments Act have already been documented – such as the electronic recording, transcription, and sharing by government spies of phone sex between American soldiers and their spouses
John Brennan thought that this was all a great idea. He called passing the FISA Amendments Act “the right thing to do”. That, as much as Brennan’s on-again-off-again support for torture, is what makes forcing Barack Obama to nix Brennan’s appointment to head the CIA necessary.
You won’t read about this problem with John Brennan in the mainstream media’s stories on his withdrawal. That’s because the mainstream journalistic establishment only has spoken to a few people in key insider positions, including Brennan himself. Look out into the world that the Associated Press seems unable to recognize, however, and you’ll see that it was Big Brother spying, as much as torture, that brought the Brennan nomination down.