Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Good Day

Image credit: National Archives This is the Constitution. It got a bit of a break from the beating it's been taking lately.

Via Glenn Greenwald, this is what Barack Obama's intelligence advisor John Brennan wrote in a letter to Obama that was released today:

John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama's top adviser on intelligence, took his name out of the running Tuesday for any intelligence position in the new administration.

Brennan wrote in a Nov. 25 letter to Obama that he did not want to be a distraction. His potential appointment has raised a firestorm in liberal blogs that associate him with the Bush administration's interrogation, detention and rendition policies.

Brennan out of running for top intel post

According to the IHT article, this is part of Brennan's letter:

"The fact that I was not involved in the decisionmaking process for any of these controversial policies and actions has been ignored," he wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. "Indeed, my criticism of these policies within government circles was the reason why I was twice considered for more senior-level positions in the current administration only to be rebuffed by the White House."

Brennan out of running for top intel post

In all likelihood, he was asked to remove himself from consideration. As Glenn observes, it seems clear that Brennan is in excuse-making mode:

Brennan's self-defense here is quite disingenuous. Whether he "was involved in the decision-making process for any of these controversial policies" is not and never was the issue. Rather, as I documented at length when I first wrote about Brennan, he was an ardent supporter of those policies, including "enhanced interrogation techniques" and rendition, both of which he said he was intimately familiar with as a result of his CIA position. As virtually everyone who opposed his nomination made clear -- Andrew Sullivan, Digby, Cenk Uygur, Big Tent Democrat and others -- that is why he was so unacceptable.

Exceptional news: John Brennan won't be CIA Director or DNI

[links and emphasis from original]

"Others" would include yours truly, by the way.

This is good news on two fronts, I think. First, the obvious one is that John Brennan, an apologist for both the rendition and torture of people from around the world without the consent or acquiescence of their own governments, and the telecom immunity debacle, will not be running the agencies most responsible for those travesties. Second, and perhaps as importantly, this indicates that progressive blogs can have an influence on this President. I don't for a moment think that he will always take us seriously, but he's at least susceptible to persuasion if we're vocal and united enough.

So today was a good day. Enjoy the rest of it.


One Fly said...

I like good news as there has been so little of it.

Cujo359 said...

Ain't that the truth? I want to say things are looking up, but I just don't quite believe it.

Serving Patriot said...

Definitely a win for the white hats.

Now to be aware of the follow-up appointment (Harman? Ye gods!) and rising meme that no prosecutions are needed (in the name of harmony, eh?).


Cujo359 said...

I'm not too optimistic about the prosecutions, that's for sure. Obama seems to want to avoid that problem entirely, and he has a lot of company in Congress.

Harman would be another bad choice, for some of the same reasons Brennan was a bad one.