Will John Brennan Be a Voice of Restraint in the CIA's Deadly Drone War?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
02/06/2013
       
Will John Brennan Be a Voice of Restraint in the CIA's Deadly Drone War?

An article in the online Daily Beast suggests that CIA chief nominee John Brennan will be a moderating influence at the CIA — suggests despite the evidence.

A story published Tuesday in the online Daily Beast reassures readers that John Brennan (shown in thumbnail photo and standing second from right in photo about the bin Laden raid), President Obama’s choice to replace David Petraeus as CIA director, is not a calloused killer, but a man who “passionately supports civil liberties and wants to fight terrorism within a framework of law.” Brennan is so committed to safeguarding the due process rights of those targeted for assassination that many in the White House consider him an “often-moderating influence in the war on terror.”

That dove-like description of Brennan’s devotion to the rule of law doesn’t square with his recent record.

For example, although the Obama administration has kept a tight lid on the details of its “death by drone” program, in April of last year, Brennan admitted for the first time publicly to the extent of the use of drones in America’s War on Terror. Brennan said that the remote control killing of suspects on foreign soil who have been charged with no crime whatsoever, is “in full accordance with the law."

Then, without apparent awareness of the macabre irony of the statement, Brennan reminded the world that the United States “respects national sovereignty and international law.”

In Daniel Klaidman’s article in the Daily Beast, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is quoted describing Brennan as “a pillar of courage” and one who will insist upon adherence to “American values and the rule of law.”

The facts, again, don’t support this claim.

Even the Klaidman piece admits that it was Brennan’s patronage of the use of drones to track and kill terrorist that convinced President Obama to promote them to the weapon of choice in the War on Terror.

For example, just days after a deadly drone strike in Yemen was reported, Brennan took to the microphone once again to discuss the operation.

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