When Obama security adviser John Brennan was sworn into office as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, he put his hand not on a Bible, but on a copy of the Constitution – before it included the Bill of Rights.
The White House said of the controversial appointee, whose position in office was filibustered by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul this week for nearly 13 hours, “Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.”
A report in the Weekly Standard said Vice President Joe Biden performed the ceremony in the White House Roosevelt Room.
The report also included an update from the emptywheel.net blog, which noted the absence of the Bill of Rights.
“When Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments – or any of the other amendments now included in our Constitution,” the report said. “The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, four years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.”
Wrote the blogger, “These vows always carry a great deal of symbolism. And whether he meant to invoke this symbolism or not, the moment at which Brennan took over the CIA happened to exclude (in symbolic form, though presumably not legally) the key limits on governmental power that protect American citizens.”
Olivier Knox, at Yahoo.com, pointed out that symbolism was part of the event.
“Hours after CIA Director John Brennan took the oath of office – behind closed doors, far away from the press, perhaps befitting his status as America’s top spy – the White House took pains to emphasize the symbolism,” he wrote.
“‘There’s one piece of this that I wanted to note for you,’ spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at their daily briefing. ‘Director Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution that had George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it, dating from 1787.’”
The report said Earnest confirmed Brennan had asked for a document from the National Archives “because he wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office.”
Knox also wrote about the absence of the Bill of Rights in the document.
“That means: No freedom of speech and of the press, no right to bear arms, no Fourth Amendment ban on ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ and no right to a jury trial,” the report said.
Paul had been filibustering Brennan’s nomination because the Obama administration had made statements that the president might have the authority to order lethal drone strikes on Americans on U.S. soil. Brennan worked with Obama’s overseas drone program, which has killed hundreds, while security adviser.
Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul in response to a question from the senator that the U.S. never has carried out a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on American soil and it would be “unlikely.”
However, Holder also said he could not rule it out entirely.
“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” Holder’s letter said.
He confirmed Obama “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”
In the later letter to Paul, after the filibuster, Holder said, “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Another angle on why Brennan might not have wanted to swear his oath on the Bible relates to a shocking report by one of the FBI’s former top experts on Islam, who says Brennan actually converted to Islam years ago while living in Saudi Arabia.
As WND reported, former FBI Islam expert John Guandolo has long warned that the federal government is being infiltrated by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. But Guandolo now warns that by appointing Brennan to CIA director, Obama has not only chosen a man “naïve” to these infiltrations, but also picked a candidate who is himself a Muslim.
“Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia,” Guandolo told interviewer and radio host Tom Trento.
“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 [is] 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.”
Brennan did indeed serve as CIA station chief in Riyadh in the 1990s and he has held the official title of Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. On Jan. 7, Obama nominated Brennan as the next director of the CIA.
“Are you kidding me?” Trento balked at Guandolo’s allegations. “The head of the CIA is a Muslim? For real? … Are you sure?”
“Yes I am,” Guandolo asserted. “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.”
A former Marine and combat veteran, Guandolo worked for eight years in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division as a “subject matter expert” in the Muslim Brotherhood and the global spread of Islamism. Guandolo boasts he created the Bureau’s first counterterrorism training/education program and twice received United States Attorney’s Awards for investigative intelligence.
Guandolo is also one of the authors of the Center for Security Policy’s Team B II report, “Shariah: The Threat to America.”
“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 then broke down a three-part argument against Brennan’s confirmation.
“The first is he has interwoven his life professionally and personally with individuals that we know are terrorists,” Guandolo asserted. “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, Guandolo asserted, 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,” Guandolo said, but stressed, “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,” Guandolo continued. “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’s discussion with Trento about Brennan’s conversion can be seen below:
Brennan's speech in which he discusses how Islam shaped his "worldview" – a clip of which appears in the Guandolo interview – can be seen below:
Part 2 of Trento's interview with Guandolo can be seen below: