Meet John Brennan, Obama’s Assassination Czar

President Obama delegated counterterrorism adviser John Brennan the sole authority to designate people for assassination under the United States top-secret assassination program.

John Brennan

According to a report from the Associated Press, Brennan has seized the lead in choosing who will be targeted for drone attacks and raids.  The latest details of the progam reveal that under the Obama’s new plan, Brennan’s staff compiles the potential target list and runs the names past agencies such as the State Department at a weekly White House meeting.

After gathering responses from other agencies and debating it with his staff, Brannan has the sole authority to target people for assassination.

So who is the man with this extraordinarily powerful influence over who lives and dies in the due-process-free world of international assassinations?

In November, 2008, media reports strongly suggested that President Obama intended to name John Brennan as CIA Director. But controversy over Brennan’s recent history — he was a Bush-era CIA official who expressly advocated “enhanced interrogation techniques” and rendition — forced him to “withdraw” from consideration, as he publicly issued a letter citing “strong criticism in some quarters” of his CIA advocacy.

Even before the 2008 election, eyebrows were raised over Brennan’s role in the Obama campaign. An employee of The Analysis Corporation, of which Brennan was CEO, had improperly accessed passport information for Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Democratic primary challenger at the time, and GOP nominee John McCain. At the time, Brennan was a top adviser to the Obama campaign, and Brennan’s employee was not fired. (One of the key witnesses in the case was found murdered in his car outside his church while the investigation was still ongoing.)Brennan was involved in administration intrigue related to the release of convicted Libyan Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish jail in August 2009. At the time of Megrahi’s release — when he returned to Libya to a national hero’s welcome — Brennan described the release as “unfortunate, inappropriate, and wrong” and called for his reimprisonment. However, Obama administration documents obtained by The Sunday Times revealed that the White House had secretly informed Scottish authorities that they found compassionate release more palatable than the reimprisonment of Megrahi in Libya.

Brennan also came under fire after would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab nearly brought down a U.S.-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day 2009. British intelligence authorities had notified their U.S. counterparts of an “Umar Farouk” meeting with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, and Abdulmutallab’s father had warned of his son’s increasing extremism to CIA officials at the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. However, Abdulmutallab was never added to the U.S. no-fly list, nor was his U.S. visa revoked.

Following this stunning and nearly fatal intelligence failure which prompted members of both the House and Senate Intelligence oversight committees to call for his resignation, Brennan lashed out at the Obama administration’s critics in a USA Today editorial. He claimed that the “politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda.”

Brennan also defended treating Abdulmutallab as a criminal by having his rights read to him upon arrest and trying him in civilian court, rather than transferring the would-be bomber to military custody as an enemy combatant.

Just days later, Brennan gave a speech to Islamic law students at New York University, where he was introduced by Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America. Mattson, who had been involved with the Obama inaugural prayer service, had come under fire then for her organization’s longstanding terrorist support.

During his NYU speech, Brennan defended the administration’s highly unpopular move to try al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court (which the administration eventually backed away from). He claimed that terrorists are the real victims of “political, economic and social forces,” said that Islamic terrorists were not jihadists, referenced “Al-Quds” instead of Jerusalem, and described the 20 percent of former Guantanamo detainees returning to terrorist activities as “not that bad” when compared to ordinary criminal recidivism.

During a talk at the Nixon Center in May 2010, Brennan said that the administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Two weeks later, at a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Brennan defended the Islamic doctrines of jihad as “a holy struggle” and “a legitimate tenet of Islam.”

These missteps and misstatements by Brennan prompted the Washington Times to editorialize in June 2010 that “President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser knows very little about terrorism, and that’s scary for America,” and to warn that “Mr. Brennan’s curious views may be part of a larger move by the O Force to redefine terrorism”.

Rep. Peter King, then-House Homeland Security Committee ranking member (now committee chairman), called for Brennan’s firing, saying:

Here’s the problem … and this is from people from the intelligence community too. John Brennan is running intelligence policy from the White House. He is getting in the weeds in different intelligence organizations that are out there. He’s doing this from the White House. Obviously, he is not subject to Congressional scrutiny, because he’s on the White House staff, and it’s a very dangerous situation, where you have a homeland security advisor who is beyond the reach of Congress actually making, running, and carrying on intelligence policy. It’s wrong. I’m not aware of it happening before.

Stung by these criticisms, Brennan demanded to meet with the editorial staff of the Washington Times. During the June 2010 meeting, Brennan claimed that the newspaper had misrepresented his views, even as the editors read his statements directly from his speeches posted on the White House website.

When Brennan was cornered by senior editorial writer Jim Robbins about his views on jihad being a legitimate tenet of Islam, Brennan abruptly ended the interview and stormed out of their offices.

In September 2010, after a story was broken broke the story that a known top U.S. Hamas official had been given a guided tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and FBI Academy at Quantico under Brennan’s watch, several former top intelligence and defense officials again called for his resignation.

John Brennan briefs President Obama

It was revealed in May that Brennan was implicated in a serious intelligence breach detailing an ongoing counterterrorism operation led by British and Saudi intelligence agencies that had placed an operative deep inside the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) organization. The White House leak forced the termination of the operation and the immediate withdrawal of the double agent, infuriating our foreign intelligence allies.

Recently, internal White House documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request revealed that Brennan and other White House officials had met twice with Hollywood filmmakers preparing a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden, providing them unparalleled access including the identity of a SEAL Team 6 operator and commander along with other classified information. Amazingly, these high-level White House meetings between Brennan and the Hollywood filmmakers took place just weeks after the Pentagon and CIA had publicly warned of the dangers posed by leaks surrounding the successful SEAL raid killing bin Laden.

John Brennan is the man under whom President Obama has consolidated the unprecedented power of assassination. He directly controls and oversees all aspects of the program that had been previously divided between the Pentagon, the CIA, and other officials. If this is the kind of policy change that Americans can expect in light of Obama’s promise to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of “more flexibility” after the 2012 elections, Americans of all political stripes have reason for grave concern.

Border Patrol Union Calls For Holder To Resign

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, wants its members protected: from Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder’s involvement and alleged dishonesty about Operation Fast and Furious — the fatally flawed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-led “gunwalking” scheme that resulted in the death of one of their own, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, in 2010 — has led the union to call for Holder’s resignation.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the National Border Patrol Council made the decision to call for the Attorney General’s resignation after a year of frustration stemming from how the Justice Department chose to handle the operation and neglected to take responsibility for its failures.

Shawn Moran, a vice president of the union who is based in the San Diego area, explained the decision to the newspaper.

“This is something that all of our guys are concerned about, because they know it could be any one of them,” Moran said.

“We take the risks that are out there naturally just being in law enforcement working across from Mexico in the condition it’s in right now,” he said. “But what you can’t accept is when your own government is allowing weapons into the hands of the people you’re confronting.”

The union reportedly represents 3,700 agents in Southern Arizona, where Terry was killed, and 17,000 nationwide.

The announcement was made two days before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding information related to the operation.

How Laws Are Created Today…In An Obama Administration

Does anyone else remember watching that Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about how a bill becomes a law. That single cartoon probably brainwashed three generations of children into believing in the checks and balances fantasy of the US federal government.

The reality is what we see everywhere today– self-regulating, self-legislating executive agencies with nearly unlimited scope and authority. Even the most mundane offices within the Fish and Wildlife Service can confiscate people’s private property without any judicial oversight.

These agencies can also conjure new rules out of thin air, all on their own, that have the same weight and effect as laws. In fact, Regulations.gov shows that there have been nearly 575 newly posted regulations or proposals just in the last week… and over 6,200 over the past 90-days. This is truly mind-numbing.

President Obama’s announcement Friday that he is using his executive authority to defer deportation proceedings for young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally but meet certain requirements was just the latest example of the president’s use of his power to act without Congress on policy issues.

And like the other actions the president has increasingly taken as part of his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, the decision announced last Friday was characterized by Obama’s political opponents as an abuse of power and violation of congressional prerogatives.

There will be some people who will cry foul. Who will say this is a gross abuse of the president’s Article II powers. But that, too, has always been true when presidents strike out on their own and act unilaterally.

“The people who cry foul are typically, not always, but typically members of the opposite party who don’t like the policy that the president’s advancing.

Change is what Obama promised and what he’s delivering. Is it really what Americans thought they were voting for? This president has been ruling by decree for the past several years, and his executive orders, when studied as a whole, have a clear (to some of us) and alarming direction.

Beyond the usual functional orders, many of Obama’s orders show a definite trend toward bypassing Congress whenever possible and deepening involvement of the Executive Branch in local affairs. Some of the more suspect executive orders are:

  • Executive Order 13609 – Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation — Circumvents constitutional process of treaty negotiation and Senate approval.      Appointed presidential policy panel is to consider changing U.S. trade regulations to match laws in foreign countries.
  • Executive Order 13603 – National Defense Resources Preparedness — Updates previous order. In peacetime or times of national emergency, heads of Agriculture, Energy,      Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense and Commerce can take food, livestock, fertilizer, farm equipment, all forms of energy, water resources, all forms of civil transportation and any other materials, including construction materials from wherever they are available.
  • Executive Order 13575 – Establishment of the White House Rural Council — Authorizes a Rural Council to exert control over “agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, health-care providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America.”
  • Executive Order 13544 – Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council — Creates a council that includes the Secretary of Homeland Security and is charged with creating a policy to “achieve national wellness, health promotion, and public health goals, including the reduction of tobacco use, sedentary behavior, and poor nutrition.” Sounds innocuous, but consider New York City’s current efforts to ban certain foods. Do you want Uncle Sam determining your menu?
  • Executive Order 13503 – Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs – This exceptionally vague order creates an office designed to interfere with and influence policies of city governments in undefined ways by coordinating with federal agencies.

If Obama gets away with his amnesty by executive order, he will have proved that there is no one who can stop him. He has in place all the legal framework he needs to crack down on dissent and prevent any possible physical resistance. All he need do is declare a national emergency, and his administration has set up several potential “crises” that could precipitate such a declaration.

If one man and his administration is allowed to singlehandedly change the law in ways that they never could have achieved through the constitutional legal process, and he remainsunchallenged, we are no longer living in a constitutional republic.  They will have completely thrown out the Constitution and for all intents and purposes, made themselves the king and his court.

Suit / Counter-suit: Eric Holder and Florida At It Again

Ken Detzner, the Florida Secretary of State filed a lawsuit in Washington, D. C. district court to get database information from the Department of Homeland Security to properly purge the Florida voter rolls of dead and illegal voters.  He also made a statement concerning the lawsuit:

“For nearly a year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to meet its legal obligation to provide us the information necessary to identify and remove ineligible voters from Florida’s voter rolls. We can’t let the federal government delay our efforts to uphold the integrity of Florida elections any longer. We’ve filed a lawsuit to ensure the law is carried out and we are able to meet our obligation to keep the voter rolls accurate and current.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “I have a job to do to defend the right of legitimate voters. We’ve been asking for the Department of Homeland Security’s database, SAVE, for months, and they haven’t given it to us. So, we will be filing a lawsuit, the secretary of State of Florida, against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database. We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.”

“We have done all that we can in trying to reason with people in Florida,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington. “We are now prepared to go to court.”

A day later, the Justice Department filed their own lawsuit attempting to block the purge.

Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, sent a letter in response to Ken Detzner stating, “I have authorized the initiation of an enforcement action against Florida in Federal Court.”

“One of Congress’s concerns in enacting the protections of the VRA and NVRA, and one of the Department’s concerns in enforcing federal law as enacted by Congress, is ensuring that state efforts to find and purge ineligible persons from voter registration lists do not endanger the ability of eligible U.S. citizens to register to vote and maintain their voter registration status.”

According to a statement by Perez, the violation occurred because Florida used “inaccurate and unreliable” voter verification procedures.

The obvious issue Mr. Perez failed to address is why the DHS has failed to provide the necessary database so that the procedures would be accurate and reliable. This was the whole reason for why Florida filed suit. Instead of providing the necessary access to Florida, the Obama DOJ simply ordered Florida to stop purging rolls.

It seems the Obama administration is constantly failing to provide information that is requested of it, whether it be documents on Fast and Furious or a database so that a state can properly purge its voter rolls.

Obama’s 100th Golf Round

President Obama on golf course

Last weekend, President Obama played his 100th round of golf since coming to the White House. That’s quite a milestone in just 3 1/2 years. As it takes him about six hours to drive to the greens and complete 18 holes, Mr. Obama has spent the equivalent of four months’ worth of work time golfing. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been stuck in a sand trap.

He kicked off the golf streak on April 26, 2009, and he played a total of 27 rounds in his first year.  The second year Mr. Obama managed to get in 31 games of golf and last year, the number of these outings rose to 33.

The President is being savaged in some circles for the amount of time playing golf.  I think some of the criticism is unwarranted.  After all, some of these rounds of golf undoubtedly took place while he was on one of his vacations!

For what it’s worth, Barack Obama isn’t even close to claiming the title of Golfer in Chief.  That title falls to Woodrow Wilson, who reportedly played about 1,200 rounds during his presidency.  Dwight Eisenhower is the runner-up at 800, according to his memorial commission.

MSNBC Caught Selectively Editing Romney Video to Make Him Seem ‘Out of Touch’

The following was posted on The Blaze:

After NBC was caught selectively editing the George Zimmerman police tapes to make it seem like he was volunteering racial information, MSNBC has been caught editing a clip of Mitt Romney to make him seem wildly “out of touch,” when he was really just explaining the difference between the private and public sectors.

In the MSNBC clip, Romney is shown discussing Wawa’s convenience stores like he has never been to one before (presumably because he is “too good” for such an establishment).

Introduced by Andrea Mitchell saying: “I get the feeling–take a look at this– that Mitt Romney has not been to too many Wawa’s along the roadside in Pennsylvania,” Romney says: “I was at Wawa’s, I wanted to order a sandwich. You press the little touch tone keypad, alright, you just touch that, and you know, the sandwich comes at you, touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing.”

Momentarily speechless, Mitchell repeats, “It’s amazing,” as her guest breaks into sharp laughter.

Too bad the clip was taken wildly out of context.

In reality, Romney was illustrating the difference between private and public sector efficiency. After telling a story where his friend had to fill out a 33-page form twice to complete a change of address with the government, Romney holds up touch-tone sandwich-ordering as an example of private sector efficiency– not as a marvel of how the “common” man lives.

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s version here:

And watch the real clip, here:

Even Politico wrote a story on the speech today, failing to add any context whatsoever to “Romney’s Wawa visit.”

Right Scoop concludes: “Romney isn’t out of touch here at all. Whether you like his comparison or not, it was absolutely not what was represented by MSNBC.”

Is Obama The Most Biblically Hostile President of All Time?

Barack Obama

A while back, David Barton at Wallbuilders came out with a list explaining why Barack Obama is possibly the most biblically hostile President of all time. While most of these stories have been seen before, seeing them all laid out in one list is pretty astonishing.

To see the list and footnotes showing sources click here.