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National Security Issues

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, Mr. Davis. It's my pleasure to have had the opportunity to yield to you. It's one of the things that's good if we do more of, and that is recognizing people for their great contributions to this country.

At this time, I want to pick up where my friend, Mr. Franks, left off and follow up on the issue of who will be the next CIA Director. This is an important matter.

Some think, well, what difference does the past make? Today is a new day. Every day is a new day. But those of us who majored in history, studied history, know that our history is the best indication of future performance.

So with regard to Mr. Brennan, I think it's worth noting that Secretary of State--former Secretary of State now--Hillary Clinton warned on her way out as Secretary of State of the danger of what she called the ``global jihadist threat.'' I am greatly appreciative to Secretary Clinton for calling this administration's attention to that, as well as the American public. Secretary Clinton should know. We had at least four Americans killed at Benghazi during her watch as Secretary of State.

The question might be: Where is John Brennan today on this central challenge of our time for Western civilization? And by ``Western civilization,'' I mean the idea that the Founders of this Nation had, many of them depicted in the great mural just outside this floor, 56 signers of the Declaration in the mural that John Trumble did down in the Rotunda. Their idea, when you read their writings, was of a people who would have the chance to govern themselves.

They all knew that prayer was important. That's why as Ben Franklin said during the Constitutional Convention--his own handwriting, he wrote out his speech, but he mentioned that during the revolution, in his words:

We had daily prayer in this room. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.

They understood that. They prayed for wisdom. They prayed for guidance. They prayed for help in setting up this experiment in democracy. Yes, Rome had had a Senate. Yes, Greece had had a Senate; England had had a Parliament. But they had rulers who could just disband, kill, dismiss. This was going to be different. This was going to be a people who would have the chance to actually govern themselves, a revolutionary idea.

There was still such a class system in so many areas of the world in the 1700s that so many considered that people who were not of the upper crust would not have the ability to govern themselves. That's not what the Founders believed after they prayed each day during the revolution, after they prayed and struggled and argued over the way forward to reaching that goal.

But there is a threat, as Secretary Clinton said, the global jihadist threat, of people who think that the Founders' dream is totally inappropriate, that it leads to degradation; it leads to moral depravity, in their minds.

The Founders knew that was a possibility, but it was worth the risk to give people the freedom of choice as they believed their creator had given all of us, to make decisions for good or bad, and normally to have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

The global jihadist threat that Secretary Clinton pointed out does not have the belief that a democracy is a good idea, that a people electing representatives in a republican form of government is a good idea. They believe that we need some religious leader, like the Ayatollah Khomeini, or now Khamenei in Iran, we need a religious leader like that, that tells us what we can do, that makes all his decisions under shari'a law.

Now, all of those who met during the revolution, they believed in the power of prayer to God, and that's why they prayed during that time. But they wanted everyone to have the chance to worship as they chose, be they Muslim, Hindu, but especially Judeo-Christian beliefs where Jews and Christians had traditionally suffered persecution. They wanted the chance for people to worship as they please, or not worship. But they knew to make that possible they had to pray to God.

And that's why we are observing, once again, tomorrow the National Prayer Breakfast where our President will speak, where we will have a fantastic testimony from one of the great leaders in our country, who earlier in his life, when his life was going astray, dropped to his knees and prayed for help and got it. We will hear about that tomorrow.

But if we don't know the history of this country, if we don't know the dream of the Founders, if we don't understand the Constitution, then we lose it. And people need to understand when there is a global jihadist threat, not of moderate Muslims, like our friends, the Northern Alliance, who fought and defeated the Taliban on our behalf, not the enemy of our enemies, but these are radical Islamic jihadists who want a caliphate in which the United States is subjugated to a religious ruler.

And they're willing to use violence, if necessary. Although the Muslim Brotherhood now seems to indicate that here in America they've made so much progress in infiltrating and getting positions of power in our government, in our State Department, in our Homeland Security Department, in our Justice Department, at the White House directly, direct lines to the President, they have made so much progress in moving toward that goal of a caliphate here in the United States, under shari'a law, not under the Constitution, that they're thinking maybe violence is not the way forward in America to achieve their goal of making this a shari'a compliant caliphate.

But the Muslim Brotherhood around the world believes in many places violence is the way forward in those areas. But we've got to understand who we are facing and what they want to do. And Secretary Clinton, unfortunately it is on her way out that she notes this, instead of being able to spend the last four years with the clarity she had when she said that we face this danger of a global jihadist threat. It is a threat. She now acknowledges it on her way out.

And the question now is, since Secretary of State Kerry will now be carrying that mantle, for heaven's sake we have got to have somebody in intelligence directing intelligence who understands the threat against us and will ensure that we are protected and understands the global jihadist threat.

The Obama administration has focused almost entirely on al Qaeda, believing people when they came in and said, ``Look, the only people who can actually give you advice on dealing with these radical folks are Islamic believers, so you must get advice from us, form partnerships with us, let us give you advice, let us tell you how to deal with this threat.'' And they made great inroads in this administration in that approach.

But the blindness of the larger jihadist threat, the enterprise that is being pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood abroad, has resulted in the practice of drone-delivered assassinations of al Qaeda figures, with what many are questioning or arguing is due process without that, and this administration's repeated declaration that al Qaeda is being defeated. They know not of what they speak.

The idea that al Qaeda is being defeated is helping recruit others who are radical jihadists, because they're able to point to a United States administration that is so blind and so uninformed of what really is going on, that they think al Qaeda is on the decline when radical jihad is on its way up.

The drone technique of killing American citizens and killing radical jihadists is apparently thought by this administration to be a very advanced and practical approach. Well, it does avoid putting Americans at risk right now. But those same people in this administration that talked about the danger of waterboarding because, yes, some acknowledge we got very critical information by using that, even though there was no threat to their health, you had doctors there, there was no intention to do any harm. The intent was to perform a procedure that did not harm but would gather information.

Well, this administration ran against John McCain, and even though John McCain agreed, yeah, we don't want to waterboard, we don't want to do anything that somebody might someday call torture, they complained, gee, this is allowing radicals to be recruited against the United States because of the unjust nature of doing a procedure that is not harmful to someone's health to gather information to save American lives, which it did.

So here we are now with this administration that thought waterboarding helped jihadists recruit more radicals, using a process of having a high administration official think to himself or herself, ``I don't think this may be enough, yeah, blow them up,'' without giving adequate consideration to civilians who will be killed, to family members who will be upset, to the ability of our enemies to use that to recruit other radicals many times over to replace those that have been killed with a drone strike.

This administration's systemic failure to understand what the Muslim Brotherhood calls ``civilization jihad'' is putting this country in severe jeopardy. That's why I appreciate Secretary Clinton, on her way out, unfortunately, pointing back to the danger of this global jihadist threat.

According to the--and this is the name of the document--``Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,'' the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is this:

``A civilization-jihadist process--a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their,'' i.e. Americans', ``hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions.''

The mission statement I've just quoted translates into a comprehensive effort to penetrate, to influence, and otherwise subvert our American civil society, our form of government, our governing institutions. And that explanatory memorandum that I just quoted from was written on May 19, 1991 by a top Muslim Brotherhood operative, Mohamed Akram.

Though the Justice Department established in Federal court during the Holy Land Foundation trials in Dallas, Texas, that the groups identified by the Muslim Brotherhood in their memo are ``their organizations,'' a number of them and their successors have been treated by the Obama administration as key interlocutors in dealing with radical jihad, and this administration believes that these Muslim Brotherhood front organizations are legitimate representatives of the Muslim American community.

They have enabled the Muslim Brotherhood to recruit and to show others, Look, we're the ones that the White House trusts. We can call the White House. We can call and tell them there are three people who are giving a seminar at Langley--CIA headquarters--to law officers, hundreds of them, and we believe they will be teaching them things that are offensive to us. Well, yeah, because they call them what they are. They read from their own documents.

These individuals, who have spent their careers learning and teaching about the threat of what Secretary Clinton called the global jihadist threat, were stopped in August a year and a half ago by a call to the White House. That call also was instrumental in prompting this administration through the intelligence department, the Justice Department, the FBI, all these departments, into purging documents, purging words, purging things from our materials that someone who wants to destroy our way of life and take us over and make us a caliphate may be offended by.

I can't go into what has been purged because they decided to declare it a classified setting when Michele Bachmann and I--and for a while Lynn Westmoreland--went through documents to see what had been purged, documents that we knew before we went in had supposedly been purged because someone who wants to destroy our way of life might be offended.

Well, I am offended, every American should be offended, and every Muslim should be offended that a governing administration put the feelings of people who want to destroy us ahead of their oath to protect this Nation and preserve the Constitution. It doesn't mean anything to preserve the Constitution if you preserve the document but you do not preserve the enumerated powers and laws set out in that document.

Last June, four of my colleagues and I wrote to five different departments in this administration. In each separate letter--each was different--we wrote to the inspector general of each department, and we pointed out in each letter specific facts about that department that should give rise to an investigation into the influence of people who have embraced the idea of civilization jihad and taking this country over and subjugating us to sharia law and a religious leader who could tell us how to avoid moral depravity.

There was such an uproar, even by some Republicans--by a few of them, anyway. But some in the media went ballistic. Instead of doing their own investigation, they start blaming the messenger. But I don't hear any of those people attacking Secretary Clinton on her way out for saying, By the way, there is a global jihadist threat. It's what we've been trying to tell people for a couple of years, at least. There is a global jihadist threat. Thank you, Secretary Clinton. You're right.

Now, for this administration to bring people into top positions who do not understand the threat to this country and think that ignoring due process of our Constitution and killing American citizens with drone bombs is somehow preserving the Constitution, it requires another look. It requires oversight. There may be circumstances where that's what needs to be done. But I do find it interesting that this administration and certain leaders here on the Hill had no problem with al Awlaki leading prayers here at the Capitol, here on Capitol Hill, prayers by al Awlaki that were videotaped, that you can still find. He led prayers on Capitol Hill, and then he goes to Yemen, and this administration thinks we better kill him with a drone without due process. What were they afraid of? Maybe that he would come back and lead prayers on Capitol Hill, or maybe he would be captured and talk about who all he led prayers with on Capitol Hill? What was the need for taking this man out?

We're told he had blood on his hands, and so it does seem. But there seems to be a problem when leaders of this country will say you cannot waterboard to get information, even though it's not a threat to the health of the individual--it scares them--but we will take an American citizen out who not so long before was leading prayers of Muslim staff members here at this Capitol on Capitol Hill.

It would be a grave mistake for our Senate to confirm John Brennan as the chief architect that he has been for his failure to understand and comprehend the global jihadist threat that Secretary Clinton has noted going out.

There was an article today, February 6, by Jim Geraghty, and I'm quoting from the article:

Let me throw you a curveball by quoting Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, reacting to the administration's release of its legal justification to kill Americans believed to be involved with terror without a trial, by drone.

Let me parenthetically note here that I'm not someone who comes to the table without an understanding about trials, about evidence, about due process, about constitutional rights, and about a death sentence. I've signed death sentences. It's a heavy, weighty matter, and as someone who has believed in capital punishment in the right circumstances, it's still a challenging moment when you watch your hand sign an order to have someone put to death. I've done it twice. In both cases, the evidence was overwhelming beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence was also overwhelming beyond a reasonable doubt that those two individuals murdered an individual or more, knew what they were doing when they murdered one or more individuals, were complicit in actually either murdering or participating in the murder, and that there was no evidence.

The question put to the jury: Is there any evidence that mitigates against the imposition of the death penalty as the Supreme Court has found? Any evidence. It's a ``no evidence'' question. Is there any evidence that mitigates against the death penalty? That's one of the three questions, and that's the standard. That's what juries in States that allow capital punishment have had to wrestle with, but I'd like to know who is considering those weighty issues in this administration.

So we go back to Geraghty's article. He quotes from Mother Jones:

The Obama administration claims that the secret judgment of a single ``well-informed, high-level administration official'' meets the demands of due process and is sufficient justification to kill an American citizen suspected of working with terrorists. That procedure is entirely secret. Thus, it's impossible to know which rules the administration has established to protect due process and to determine how closely those rules are followed. The government needs the approval of a judge to detain a suspected terrorist. To kill one, however, it need only give itself permission.

Of course, the hypocrisy of most liberals doesn't get us off the hook on the need to have a coherent view on this. Okay, conservatives. Big question now: If this were President Romney, would we be shrugging, concerned, complaining or screaming? I think ``concerned.'' At the very least, you would want another set of eyes--the House or Senate Intelligence Committees or some independent judges--taking a look at the Presidential ``kill list''--right?--at least for the American citizens.

Our Charles C.W. Cooke said, ``In case my position isn't obvious, I am appalled by any President processing the unilateral power to kill American citizens extrajudicially.''

Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, puts it rather bluntly: ``Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.''

Geraghty finishes his article by saying, ``That doesn't seem like too much to ask.''

The article in Mother Jones is worth considering. It's dated Tuesday, February 5, posted at 8:53 a.m. Pacific Standard Time by Adam Serwer. It takes a good look at this issue.

So what is the result of this administration's deciding secretly or some bureaucrat's deciding, ``Yeah, we've got enough. We'll kill this man. Yeah, we've got enough. We'll kill this person, this American citizen''? How is that working out?

There was an article published on January 31, 2013, by Catherine Herridge. Catherine has a great book out on radical Islam. This article Catherine has entitled, ``Al Qaeda affiliate in Africa looking to strike more Western targets, intelligence officials say.'' She says in her article, quoting Secretary Clinton:

``Yes, we now face a spreading jihadist threat. We have driven a lot of the al Qaeda operatives out of ..... Afghanistan, Pakistan. Killed a lot of them, including, of course, bin Laden, but we have to recognize this is a global movement.''

My comment: It's not a movement that is simply attacking overseas in some foreign country. Anyway, it's a good article by Catherine Herridge. She understands the threat.

Let me read a quote directly from White House counterterrorism adviser and nominee for Director of the CIA, Mr. John Brennan. He said:

Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early eighties and has evolved significantly over time, and now it has members of parliament in the cabinet. There are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization ..... and so, quite frankly, I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are, in fact, renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in Lebanon in a very legitimate fashion.

They have not sworn off violence in Lebanon. They have not sworn off violence in Egypt, in Syria and, as we well know, in Libya, Albania, Tunisia, even in African nations further south.

I've said before and have expressed my concern of this administration in its helping people we didn't know for sure of their identities and in encouraging them to overthrow this Nation's ally, President Mubarak. I expressed concerns before it was done about giving military assistance to people that we knew included al Qaeda to overthrow a man who had blood on his hands but, since 2003, had been this Nation's and this administration's ally, Qadhafi. They participated in taking him out--gave military aid to do so--to protect al Qaeda and other revolutionaries in setting up a government, a situation, that naturally was going to get Americans killed and which happened.

So I applaud Secretary Clinton for noting the global jihadist threat on her way out, but I come back to her question that will ring in people's ears for years to come when Senators were trying to get to the heart of the matter: What happened at Benghazi? Please just tell us what happened. We're not going to prosecute anybody here at the Senate. We just need to know what happened. Of her question, those words will ring: What difference does it make?

What difference does it make? Americans got killed.

I was inquiring: Does anybody know has a fifth person died of his wounds in Benghazi? What's going on? What's happening to those people who were wounded? Who can tell us what really happened?

What difference does it make? So we can avoid Americans being killed like that in the future.

What if we'd have had an adequate investigation about security at our Embassy back when Susan Rice was involved back in the nineties? Did they ask for extra security? Did you deny them that security? Did we have enough security? What happened to allow our Embassy to be bombed and Americans to be killed?

What difference does it make? Because if we'd known in the nineties what went wrong, maybe we could have avoided Chris Stevens, our SEALS, those four Americans that we know of being killed.

What difference does it make? It makes a difference to their families if they're alive today or dead because we were not properly secured.

What difference does it make? It makes a difference to future families who lose loved ones in the service of their country because people stonewalled and would not give us the information as to what went wrong, what happened. Just tell us.

We're supposed to trust the administration? Not only with a bureaucratic decision by one person that he think he's got enough information to go kill an American citizen without a trial, now we have to say, oh, well, we will trust them to make sure that nobody gets killed again, but it has already happened. And then by the stonewalling, we don't know enough about where the weapons came from. We don't know enough about what went wrong to know how those weapons that we may have provided in a country where we provided the revolutionary help, now has resulted in Americans and others being killed in Algeria.

What difference does it make? I'm sure the people who died in Algeria would like to have their family members back. That makes a difference.

What difference does it make? It doesn't make any difference if you don't care who lives or dies. But if you want to protect Americans in the service of their country, it makes a real difference. And it's our duty to try to protect them.

The New York Times had an article by Gregory Johnsen back in November titled ``The Wrong Man for the CIA.'' He said:

With the resignation of David H. Petraeus, President Obama now has a chance to appoint a new CIA 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 heavy on drone strikes that frequently kills 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 4 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 AQAP,'' referring to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Perhaps the initials ought to be, instead of AQAP, the initials the administration, the government likes to use, instead of AQAP, maybe it ought to be MBCH, the Muslim Brotherhood on Capitol Hill, where al Awlaki that this administration killed with a drone strike led prayers.

Back to the article:

Mr. Brennan's assertion was either shockingly naive or deliberately misleading. Testimonies from al 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.

Rapid growth there needs to be noted. People that have actually done an objective analysis have found al Qaeda is not diminished. Radicals are growing to the point that Secretary Clinton would note the jihadist threat as she leaves.

The article says:

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 100 tribesmen joined al Qaeda as a result of the latest drone mistake.''

Rather than promote the author of a failing strategy, we need a CIA 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, AQAP has more than tripled in size after 3 years of drone strikes. When the United States started bombing Yemen in 2009, AQAP 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 December 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 available 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 2 weeks earlier.

The strikes Mr. Brennan asks the President to approve frequently lead to civilian casualties. Indeed, the first strike Mr. Obama ordered on Yemen, in December 2009, destroyed a Bedouin village that was mistaken for a terrorist training camp. American missiles killed more than 50 people, including 35 women and children. Watching that strike live on a grainy feed the military calls Kill TV, Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's top lawyer, later admitted, ``if I were Catholic, I'd have to go to confession.''

Mr. Petraeus's departure presents Mr. Obama with an opportunity to halt the CIA's drift toward becoming a paramilitary organization and put it back on course. For all of the technological advances America has made in a decade of fighting al Qaeda, it still needs all of the old tricks it learned in the days before spy satellites and drones.

More and better intelligence from sources on the ground would result in more accurate targeting and fewer civilian casualties. That would be a Yemen model that actually worked and a lasting and effective counterterrorism legacy for Mr. Obama's second term.

That's Gregory Johnson from The New York Times.

Another good article by Patrick Poole on June 6 of 2012, ``Meet John Brennan, Obama's Assassination Czar.''

A relatively unnoticed article by Associated Press reporter Kimberly Dozier 2 weeks ago outlined new Obama administration policy changes which consolidated power for authorizing drone attacks and assassinations under political appointees within the White House.

The article identifies White House Counterterrorism Chief John Brennan as the official assuming the role of Obama's de facto assassination czar, raising concerns even within the Obama administration that the White House is increasingly turning into ``a pseudo-military headquarters'' under the direction of just a few senior Obama administration officials.

Adding to these concerns are serious questions about Brennan's qualification for this role.

Even before the 2008 election, eyebrows were raised over Brennan's role in the Obama campaign. An employee of The Analysis Corporation, of which Brennan was CEO, had improperly accessed passport information for Hillary Clinton, Obama's Democratic primary challenger at the time, and GOP nominee John McCain. At the time, Brennan was a top adviser to the Obama campaign, and Brennan's employee was not fired. One of the key witnesses in the case was found murdered in his car outside his church while the investigation was still ongoing.

Brennan was involved in administration intrigue related to the release of convicted Libyan Pan Am Flight 103 bomber from a Scottish jail in August 2009. At the time of Megrahi's release, when he returned to Libya to a national hero's welcome, Brennan described the release as ``unfortunate, inappropriate, and wrong'' and called for his reimprisonment. However, Obama administration documents obtained by The Sunday Times revealed that the White House had secretly informed Scottish authorities that they found compassionate release more palatable than the reimprisonment of Megrahi in Libya.

Brennan also came under fire after would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk--and I won't try that last name--nearly brought down a U.S.-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day 2009. British intelligence authorities had notified their U.S. counterparts of an ``Umar Farouk'' meeting with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki in Yemen, and Umar Farouk's father had warned of his son's increasing extremism to CIA officials at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. However, Umar Farouk was never added to the U.S. no-fly list, nor was his U.S. visa revoked.

And but for, as I understand it, him sweating too much around his posterior that helped defuse the bomb and then the work of some heroic passengers to stop him once he tried, the crew was--the passengers were saved. But it was certainly no thanks to the Obama administration or Mr. Brennan.

Now, back to the article. Patrick Poole says:

Following this stunning and nearly fatal intelligence failure which prompted members of both the House and Senate Intelligence oversight committees to call for his resignation, Brennan lashed out at the Obama administration's critics in a USA Today editorial. He claimed that the ``politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al Qaeda.''

Let me insert here, if he thinks, Mr. Brennan thinks that questioning failures of the Obama administration is contributing to al Qaeda, what must bombing innocent people with drones be doing for al Qaeda?

Back to the article. It says:

Brennan also defended treating Umar Farouk as a criminal by having his rights read to him upon arrest and trying him in civilian court, rather than transferring the would-be bomber to military custody as an enemy combatant.

Just days later, 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, at that time. 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 New York University 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.''

Mr. Speaker, it's important people understand. John Brennan claimed that the terrorists killing Americans, over 3,000 on 9/11, were the real victims of a political, economic, and social force.

Brennan said that Islamic terrorists are 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.

The thousands of people that have likely been killed by the 20 percent of our detainees being returned to terrorist activities probably would not consider Mr. Brennan's assessment as not that bad. They wouldn't consider that all that accurate.

Patrick writes a great article. He has another one January 7, 2013, entitled, ``Revisiting 'Jihad' John Brennan.''

Another, by my friend, Andrew McCarthy, on February 4, opposed Brennan for CIA Director. I will include these articles in the Record.

It is time we took a real objective look at people who say their goal is civilization jihad and the elimination of our freedom to choose as we please and to choose our public servants.

[From the PJ Tatler, Jan. 7, 2013]

Revisiting ``Jihad'' John Brennan

(By Patrick Poole)

This afternoon at a White House ceremony, Obama announced that his nominee for CIA Director will be `Jihad' John Brennan, his current counterterrorism adviser.

Back in June, I profiled Brennan here at PJ Media. Some of `Jihad' John's recent highlights include:

March 2008: John McCain's passport information leaked from John Brennan's company during presidential campaign (key witness murdered during investigation)

April 2008: Brennan tells the New York Times that US government official must stop ``Iran-bashing''

Feb 2010: Brennan attacks critics of Obama Admin's handling of ``underwear bomber'' Abdulmutallab as a criminal, not a terrorist, saying that critics are ``serving the goals of Al-Qaeda''

May 2010: Brennan says he wants to build up ``Hezbollah moderates''

May 2010: Brennan defends `Jihad' as a `legitimate tenet of Islam'

June 2010: Washington Times editorial slams Brennan, saying, ``President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser knows very little about terrorism, and that's scary for America.''

Aug 2010: Brennan storms out of meeting with Washington Times editorial staff after he claims he was misquoted by newspaper and editor begins reading Brennan's own quotes back to him out loud

Sept 2010: Known HAMAS operative given escorted tour of National Counterterrorism Center

May 2012: Brennan implicated in major White House intelligence breach involving UK/Saudi Al-Qaeda infiltrator

Aug 2012: Brennan attacks critics of politically-driven White House intelligence leaks

Sept 2012: House Intel Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says changes in CIA's Benghazi attack talking points blaming Mohammed video happened under deputies committee chaired by Brennan

Again, these are just some of John Brennan's highlights. We could also add his laughable claims of no collateral casualties from his drone assassination program or his defense of trying Al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court or his role in the White House back-door dealing with the UK on the release of Libyan Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi or his reference to Jerusalem as ``Al-Quds'' in a NYU speech or his claims that the 20 percent recidivism rate for GITMO detainees (those who returned to terrorism) was ``not that bad''. But that would be piling on.

What should be clear is that John Brennan's role in Barack Obama's disastrous first term should preclude him from any further service in the second term, let alone a promotion.


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