Cloaks and Keffiyehs
The new White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, says there's "a grave concern" about delays in assembling President Barack Obama's second-term national security team. When dealing with CIA Director-designate John Brennan the “grave concern” should be his ability and fitness for the position, not how long it is taking to approve him.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘cloak and dagger’ as “dealing in or suggestive of melodramatic intrigue and action usually involving secret agents and espionage”. Nothing says ‘cloak and dagger’ more than the CIA and nothing says ‘cloaks and Keffiyehs’ more than John Brennan.
The son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, Ireland, Brennan grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey. He graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey.
While attending Fordham University, he saw an ad that the CIA was recruiting and his career began. He holds a B.A. in political science from Fordham and studied abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo. He also has a Master of Arts in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin and speaks Arabic fluently.
During his time with the CIA he has been an analyst, a spy, and even the daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton. In 1996 he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has been the chief of staff to former Director of the CIA George Tenet. In March 2001 Brennan became deputy executive director of the CIA. He was named director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004 for President Bush. His last position in the Intelligence Community was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center 2004-2005.
In 2008 Obama appointed him to be his chief counterterrorism advisor, a position that did not require Senate confirmation. Officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President. I raised the alarm about John Brennan during Obama’s first term back in 2010.
Almost 3 years ago I wrote about Brennan in my article “If Our National Security Operation Doesn’t Shock Us Awake, Will Anything?”, it was rather humorous that Brennan had the title “Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism”, because according to his speech at the CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), he stated that “our enemy is not terrorism” and, therefore, there could be no Counterterrorism;
“The President’s strategy is absolutely clear about the threat we face. Our enemy is not ‘terrorism’ because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not ‘terror’ because terror is a state of mind and as Americans we refuse to live in fear. Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.”
In February 2010 during a speech at New York University, he stated,
"...And as part of that experience, to learn about the goodness and beauty of Islam....I came to see Islam not as it is often misrepresented, but for what it is... a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity….”
Two minutes later in the same speech he referred to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, by its Arabic name,
“And in all my travels, the city I have come to love most is Al Quds...”
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Over the past three years I have referred to Brennan as a “closet Muslim” both in my articles and on my radio show, but I never went so far as to say he was a Muslim because I had no proof and as my readers know, unlike many so-called writers today, I only report facts and I back them up.
Well now someone has come out and said just that.
Tom Trento of the United West interviewed former FBI Counter-Terrorism expert John Guandolo on his radio show last week and Guandolo stated that Brennan converted to Islam while he was the CIA station Chief in Saudi Arabia.
“Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia. That fact alone is not what is most disturbing,” Guandolo continued. “His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor … [or] he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kinds of environments, which makes him completely unfit to the be the director of Central Intelligence.”
Tom Trento himself seemed shocked by the statement,
“Are you kidding me? The head of the CIA is a Muslim? For real? … Are you sure?”
Guandolo is sure and backed it up as well,
“Yes I am, the facts of the matter are confirmed by U.S. government officials who were also in Saudi Arabia at the time that John Brennan was serving there and have direct knowledge. These are men who work in very trusted positions, they were direct witnesses to his growing relationship with the individuals who worked for the Saudi government and others and they witnessed his conversion to Islam.”
“My contention is that [Brennan] is wholly unfit for government service in any national security capacity, and that would specifically make him unfit to be the director of Central Intelligence,” Guandolo told Trento.
Guandolo pointed out that it isn’t just his conversion but rather three different points that make Brennan unfit for the position.
“The first is he has interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorists, he has overseen and approved and encouraged others to bring known leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood into the government in positions to advise the U.S. government on counterterrorism strategy as well as the overall ‘war on terror.’”
“Second, Brennan has proven through his own comments publicly that he is clueless and grossly ignorant of Al-Qaida’s strategy.”
“Third and finally, which some would say is most disturbing, is Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam, I think the [larger] news is that that conversion is the culmination of the work of people in Saudi Arabia who worked for the Saudi Government – and that makes John Brennan just naïve, foolish, dangerously ignorant and totally unfit for this position.
“That in and of itself, again, shouldn’t be shocking to people, Mr. Brennan, they have the clip where he specifically says during a public address … he said during that speech that he has learned and gets his understanding and his ‘worldview’ in large part from Islam. It shouldn’t be a large leap to imagine he’s converted to Islam.”
Guandolo wouldn’t name his sources, but given that they are still “U.S. government officials who work in very trusted positions” it is more than understandable that they remain anonymous.
Given Brennan’s past statements and his association with known terrorists that I myself have been screaming about for years I don’t find Guandolo’s claim farfetched at all.
One thing is certain, given John Guandolo’s history this claim should not be swept under the proverbial prayer rug.
Guandolo is a US Naval Academy Graduate and former US Marine combat Infantry Platoon Commander during both Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, he is a former FBI Agent in the Washington Field Office and a Swat Team Leader. He was also one of the Bureau's Advanced Capability Medics. While working in the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, John became an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Law (a.k.a. Shari'ah) and teaching, and the Global Islamic Movement (GIM). The knowledge he accumulated on these related topics earned the FBI's "Subject Matter Expert (SME)" designation, a role that gave him the opportunity to design and implement the FBI's first counter-terrorism training course.
During a briefing to the Vice President's National Security Staff in 2007, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI hailed John's course as "groundbreaking" and that same year, US Senators John Kyl and Joseph Lieberman presented John with the DC-based Center for Security Policy's "Defender of the Homeland" award in appreciation of his innovative work. Mr. Guandolo continues to advise federal, state and local government and law enforcement on the Global Islamic Movement threat to national security.
When it comes to the top position of ‘cloak and daggers’ I’d hate to think that the person heading it up is really wearing a “cloak and Keffiyeh”.
Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Frontpage Mag, Family Security Matters and dozens of other sites. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.