Trump is picking on the wrong guy

President Trump is picking on the wrong guy if he thinks the revocation of John Brennan's security clearance...

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 10:21 AM
Updated: Aug 20, 2018 10:21 AM

President Trump is picking on the wrong guy if he thinks the revocation of John Brennan's security clearances is going to intimidate or silence him. The man who is in many ways the architect of the war on militant jihadists is not going to be easily bullied.

Former CIA director Brennan is not just any critic of Trump: unlike many others, he doesn't come from the left. In fact, Brennan is the engineer of some of the most aggressive American efforts to eliminate jihadist terrorists.

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In person, Brennan, who grew up in a devout Catholic working class family in New Jersey, is serious, even stern, not big on small talk and intolerant of BS.

President Barack Obama trusted Brennan deeply on counterterrorism issues and Brennan played an important role in the decision to carry out the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

Key Obama Cabinet officials, such as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Vice President Joe Biden, advocated against authorizing a US Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan because of all the risks involved in such an operation, which were compounded by only circumstantial evidence that bin Laden was living in Abbottabad.

By contrast, Brennan urged a go on the raid. He told Obama that the CIA officials who had developed the intelligence on Abbottabad were, as he recalled in an interview with me later, "the people that have been following bin Laden for 15 years. This has been their life's work, this has been their life's journey, and they feel it very much in their gut that bin Laden is at that compound. I feel pretty good, if not certain, that bin Laden is at that compound."

On the morning of April 29, 2011 at the White House Brennan again strongly recommended the SEAL operation, just before Obama gave the final order to authorize the raid.

A fluent Arabic speaker who was CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia before 9/11, Brennan was tapped in 2003 by George W. Bush to run the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), which was the first post-9/11 effort to "connect the dots" of all American intelligence flows. TTIC was set up to avoid what happened on 9/11 when information about two of the hijackers that was known to the CIA was not shared with the FBI in a timely fashion.

This improved intelligence-sharing was a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

In January 2009, Obama made Brennan his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser.

From a windowless office with low ceilings in the basement of the West Wing of the White House, Brennan oversaw a vast expansion of the covert US drone program, which put significant pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates in Pakistan and Yemen.

In 2008, during President George W. Bush's final year in office, there were 36 CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. In 2010, during Obama's second year in office, there were 122 drone strikes in Pakistan, according to New America data.

During Bush's two terms, there was only one CIA drone strike in Yemen, while in 2012, there were 56, according to the New America data.

Obama subsequently made Brennan director of the CIA in 2013, and he served for four years. Today, Brennan is back at Fordham as a senior fellow where he once studied as an undergraduate. (I am also a fellow at Fordham's Center on National Security.)

Brennan is already firing back at Trump in the New York Times, writing, "Mr. Trump's claims of no collusion [with the Russians] are, in a word, hogwash." This is a serious charge coming from a former director of the CIA.

Trump just picked on the wrong guy.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 28770

Reported Deaths: 1092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds224739
DeSoto144216
Madison124234
Jones109149
Neshoba97070
Lauderdale89479
Rankin86012
Forrest82942
Harrison79410
Scott75715
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Jackson55716
Holmes53641
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Lee51816
Oktibbeha51625
Washington5129
Yazoo4786
Leflore47449
Warren46317
Lowndes45912
Lincoln43734
Lamar4317
Grenada3965
Pike39312
Monroe37529
Lafayette3684
Attala35523
Newton3329
Sunflower3216
Covington3175
Bolivar29813
Panola2956
Adams28018
Simpson2713
Chickasaw26418
Tate2648
Marion26311
Pontotoc2616
Jasper2516
Noxubee2478
Pearl River24532
Clay24410
Winston2446
Claiborne23910
Marshall2123
Smith21111
Clarke20424
Coahoma1906
Union1819
Walthall1794
Kemper17614
Yalobusha1667
Lawrence1621
Carroll16111
Humphreys1309
Itawamba1308
Tippah12711
Webster12610
Calhoun1244
Montgomery1242
Hancock12313
Tallahatchie1153
Jefferson Davis1074
Prentiss1003
Greene968
Jefferson963
Wilkinson929
Tunica903
Amite842
George753
Tishomingo731
Choctaw724
Quitman690
Perry634
Alcorn601
Stone541
Franklin392
Benton270
Sharkey270
Issaquena81
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4576
Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
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