Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brennan Withdraws From Consideration

Liberal bloggers -- most notably Glenn Greenwald, Big Tent Democrats, The Young Turks, Digby, and the Washington Monthly's Political Animal – had spoken out against John Brennan being given either the CIA director or the Director of National Intelligence in the Obama administration. The liberal blogs were seriously uneasy about intelligence official John Brennan having an influential position in an Obama administration, after being a water-carrier for Bush on torture and rendition.

Brennan's detractors have charged him of supporting some of the Bush administration's most disgusting intelligence-gathering policies, including rendition and "enhanced interrogation techniques."

If Obama was honest in his intention to move far away from the thuggish policies the Bush administration, then he should not have Brennan in his administration.

The criticism seems to have had the desired effect. Brennan withdrew from consideration for any intelligence post in the Obama administration, and he specifically sited opposition of him by the liberal blogs.

Brennan did get in a good whine in his letter, saying:
"It has been immaterial to the critics that I have 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. The fact that I was not involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored."
Glenn Greenwald however pretty much debunks Brennan’s defense, as he highlighted Brennan's "lengthy, empathic statements" that made clear he "defended 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and rendition -- grounds enough for making him unacceptable for any top intelligence post -- to say nothing of his strident advocacy for warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty." For anyone who has read Greenwald's blog, you know he was a lawyer, and so writes out his arguments as if he were laying out a case in court. He documented at length why Brennan was not the right choice for the Obama administration.

As for the broader context, Brennan's withdrawal appears to be the direct result of blog coverage. For those who believe bloggers' concerns are inconsequential, this is clear evidence to the contrary.

Check out what Cenk Uyger of the Young Turks had to say about today's news:

LibertyAir Blog

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