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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Why the Senate should oppose John Brennan

Andrew McCarthy has a lengthy piece on why John 'al-Quds' Brennan should not be confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I urge you to read the whole thing. Here's some of it.
Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”
Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.
But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. Have a look at Reliance of the Traveller, the popular sharia manual (it is available on Amazon). It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” Reliance, you should know, has been expressly endorsed by al-Azhar University in Egypt (Islam’s center of learning since the tenth century) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Brotherhood’s America-based Islamist think-tank). It is a lot more authoritative than John Brennan’s wishful meanderings. Maybe the president actually thinks Brennan knows more about Islam than do these scholars who have spent their lives steeped in Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence. I have my doubts … and, judging from the profound influence of these scholars, so do many millions of Muslims.
In Brennan’s world we’re to believe that holy war is not much different from the struggle to remember to brush after every meal. In Brennan’s world, there is also no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”
And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. In fact, as Brennan undoubtedly knows, it was Ayatollah Khomeini who denominated Iran’s annual ritual of anti-Israeli protest as “al-Quds Day.” Moreover, the Islamic Republic, which has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map, calls its most lethal terrorist operatives the “al-Quds” forces.
Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence.”
Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. Hezbollah has never been “purely a terrorist organization.” Like the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Brennan-influenced Obama administration similarly sees as “moderate” (even “largely secular”), Hezbollah has always seen terrorism as one item in a varied menu. For three decades, it has also specialized in media campaigns, social welfare work, lawfare, infiltration of academe, and political activism. Its objective – again, like the Brotherhood’s – is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.
Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East. This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban, just as it negotiated with the terrorists who murdered American troops in Karbala – ultimately releasing the ringleader, Ali Mussa Daqduq.
There may be a place in government, even in the intelligence community, for discrediting our enemies – for conducting operations that highlight their excesses and making them appear illegitimate in the eyes of those whose allegiance they seek to win. There is no place, however, for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for.

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Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: Senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the Defense Department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.
Read the whole thing.

By the way, I didn't realize that Kerry was confirmed so overwhelmingly. Does anyone know which three Senators voted no?

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