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With Obama’s Recent Nominations, Washington’s True Colors Are Revealed

The title, perhaps, is a bit nonsensical for anyone paying attention to the life and times of DC happenings. For Washington’s colors have long been expressed out in the open, clear as day for anyone courageous enough to lift off the blue and red shades that cover their eyes. But if possible, such a bold demonstration to the American people that the political battles of the government exist in another reality proves like never before that the republic is something that can only be seen by looking into the rear view mirror.

How else can one describe the political uproar surrounding the Chuck Hagel nomination, but the sealed lips throughout the land regarding fellow nominee John Brennan? With Hagel apparently capturing the political tactic of the Obama team, the neoconservative leaders over at the Weekly Standard blog are dramatically swooning at the mention of his name. And what about Brennan? As of late Tuesday night, there was not one mention (one!) on the WS blog about the controversial John Brennan, a Bush era CIA insider who was slammed brutally in 2008 for his support of the “enhanced interrogations” (to use politically correct verbiage).

To reinforce my point, on yesterday’s (Jan 8) front cover story of the Wall Street Journal, a rather long article was portrayed with the title and subtitle: “Obama Security Picks Court Controversy: Hagel for Defense, Brennan for CIA Expected to Face Grilling.” But guess what? The entire story was about the so-called controversies surrounding Chuck Hagel, who has been called everything from an anti-semite to an anti-gay. Nestled softly and quietly at the bottom paragraphs of the article is the discussion regarding Brennan. It’s most intense statement was a lullaby:

A Republican congressional aide said Republican lawmakers believe Mr. Brennan has helped block congressional requests for details of terrorist plots.

With the exception of the commonly-excepted Glenn Greenwald’s deserving piece over at The Guardian, John Brennan it seems, has sneaked in the back door, unscathed from the mainstream media. I mean, this is the man whom Obama had not-so-secretly preferred back in 2008, but ultimately dropped out due to his advocacy “of many of the policies of the Bush administration such as the pre-emptive war in Iraq and coercive interrogation tactics, to include waterboarding.” There is no way on God’s green earth that Obama lacks the recollection of this man’s influence in the rise of the international police state the United States has become.

Regarding Hagel, the libertarians are split. Individuals such as the long-time antiwar proponent Justin Raimondo see Hagel as the anti-neocon. The Israel Lobby, pro permanent war lobbyists, it seems, are squelched with a man like Hagel. Hagel is his “lesser of evils.” For Lew Rockwell columnist Daniel McAdams, Hagel “is a trap.” He writes:

Hagel is the perfect choice for Obama if he wants to actually expand militarism: Hagel’s peace/anti-empire backers will be silenced when Hagel does as he is told (as he must) and continues, possibly expands, the disastrous policies of this administration.

The McAdams view is no far-fetched conspiracy. According to writers such as Anthony Gregory and John Glaser, the continuity between Bush and Obama on foreign policy is astounding.

But why is all the focus on the politics of Hagel (an Establishment politician by any stretch) when the record of John Brennan is so disastrous? To quote the Greenwald piece linked above,

This “victory” of forcing Brennan’s withdrawal proved somewhat Pyrrhic, as Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser, where he exerted at least as much influence as he would have had as CIA Director, if not more. In that position, Brennan last year got caughtoutright lying when he claimed Obama’s drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year. He also spouted complete though highly influential falsehoods to the world in the immediate aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, including claiming that bin Laden “engaged in a firefight” with Navy SEALS and had “used his wife as a human shield”. Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama’s most controversial and radical policies, including “signature strikes” in Yemen – targeting people without even knowing who they are – and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency.

Even the Democrats, who love to tout their fake status of peace-makers, are dramatically taking the time and effort to give their opinions (who was asking anyway right?), but are hardly addressing Brennan. Perhaps Brennan, like Obama’s drone program that Brennan helped mastermind, is their best-kept secret. Maybe while the citizens of this nation are focused on the Iranian/Israeli relations which Hagel has been thrown into, the Police State will take the opportunity for another power grab that will go down in history as another day wherein liberty was scoffed and the Constitution was trampled.

About C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, where he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to

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