Daily Beast’s special correspondent Daniel Klaideman published a story today describing how John Brennan, the face of the drone strike program and Obama’s nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, could actually rein in the CIA.
“ Befitting their lawyerly instincts, they [Obama and Brennan] would, time and again over the years, search for ways to establish rules, standards, and constraints—to ensure that the war on terror was ultimately governed by laws, not men. “These past four years have brought out John’s natural desires to dive more deeply into the legalities and ethical nature of these counterterrorism challenges,” says Michael Leiter, who worked closely with Brennan as the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center. “These weren’t questions he had to grapple with in the same way at the CIA.”
“Yes, improbable as it may seem, John Brennan—a bona fide hawk who believes deeply in targeted killing and has spent the past four years ordering people executed—may end up doing more than anyone else to rein in the war on terror” writes Klaideman.
This idea has already been laid out earlier this year by American Security Project’s Joshua Foust in The New York Times and PBS. In his PBS column, Foust writes, “President Obama’s nomination of John O. Brennan, his Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Terrorism, to head up the CIA has drawn criticism from many. What critics miss, however, is the most important angle to Brennan’s nomination; it offers the best chance at reforming the Agency.”
Together, the articles written by both Joshua Foust and Daniel Klaideman show us how Brennan’s personality, background, and counterterrorism experience perfectly match a pressing need for the CIA to return to its intelligence gathering roots in order to best serve this country. In essence, John Brennan is the right man for this job even if his critics haven’t noticed yet.