But the former CIA director's smears more accurately describe himself.
Former CIA Director John Brennan ranted on Friday against President Trump, whom he called "unstable, inept, inexperienced, and also unethical." Evidently, what set Brennan off this time was President Trump’s latest tweet criticizing actor Alec Baldwin, who amateurishly impersonates the president on Saturday Night Live. "When I hear what Vladimir Putin was saying just yesterday about the nuclear capabilities he has, the president of the United States is tweeting about Alec Baldwin this morning, I mean, where is your sense of priorities?" Brennan asked. "I think a lot of Americans are looking at what’s happening with a sense of — this is surreal."
The words "unstable, inept, inexperienced, and unethical" more accurately describe Brennan himself. Brennan claims to be worried about the Russian threat to U.S. national security, which he accuses President Trump of irresponsibly ignoring. However, Russia is a shadow of the Communist Soviet empire it once was while Brennan was coming of age. What does it say about Brennan’s judgment when, by his own admission, he once “voted for the Communist Party with Gus Hall,” even though Hall by then had been a long-time enthusiastic supporter of the Communist Soviet Union’s hardline expansionist policies? Brennan got through his first polygraph test to enter the CIA in 1980 by saying simply “I'm not a member of the Communist Party.” But he had no problem with voting for its ardent pro-Soviet Communist cheerleader, a fact he may have obscured during his CIA application process.
Fast forward to 2014, while Brennan was serving as CIA director under former President Barack Obama. Brennan referred then to Russia simply as “a major power,” not as an enemy of the United States or as a significant geopolitical threat. In 2016, as the U.S. presidential election year was getting into high gear, Brennan reminisced that what stood out in his 35-year career in U.S. intelligence was when he “welcomed the head of the Russian FSB [Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB], Alexander Bortnikov, to the CIA last year. And I walked with him across the lobby, across our infamous CIA seal there. It was rather surreal, that the head of the FSB and the head of the CIA were walking together.” Gus Hall would have been so proud of the man who once voted for him.
As for Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election during 2016, Brennan claims to have told the head of the Russian FSB, with whom he had such a cozy get-to-together at CIA headquarters the year before, that if Russia pursued its efforts to interfere, "it would destroy any near-term prospect for improvement in relations" between the two countries. Brennan’s rhetorical slap, with no immediate follow-up actions to impose severe consequences on Russia for its behavior, was inept at best.
All Brennan really did while in office on the subject of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election was to politicize the issue by pressing for an FBI investigation of alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
Now, in a typical case of psychological projection, Brennan blames President Trump for not dealing effectively with Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election process, when that is precisely what Brennan failed to do himself when he had the chance. And in trying to distance himself from the infamous Steele dossier, which played such a critical role in moving the collusion investigation forward, Brennan may have committed perjury in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017. Brennan claimed that he did not know who commissioned the Steele dossier and had “no awareness” whether the FBI ever relied on the Steele dossier as part of any court filing. He also denied that the CIA had relied on the dossier.
According to a report by Paul Sperry, published by RealClear Investigations on February 11, 2018, “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump -- including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it...Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.” If this turns out to be true, Brennan unethically abused his office as CIA director for partisan purposes to smear candidate Donald Trump and then lied about it to Congress.
As bad as all this is, Brennan was at his worst when it came to the global Islamist threat.
On May 26, 2010, for example, while serving as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, Brennan delivered a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in which he claimed that Islamists or jihadists were not our enemies. He said that “jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community.” Throughout his tenure as both Obama's deputy national security adviser and CIA director, Brennan fundamentally misunderstood the ideological underpinnings of ISIS that had its roots in traditional Islam, as embodied in the Koran and in the words and actions of Prophet Muhammad. Islam began in the first place the same way that ISIS developed in carrying out and spreading its literalist dogma during Obama’s presidency – as a religion built on jihadist conquests to kill or subjugate disbelievers and make Islam supreme in the world.
During a February 13, 2010 address at a meeting at the Islamic Center at New York University, facilitated by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Brennan, whom some have claimed became a convert to Islam himself, said that Islam “helped to shape my own world view.” He said Islam was “a faith of peace and tolerance and great diversity.” He added, "We're trying to be very careful and precise in our use of language, because I think the language we use and the images we project really do have resonance. It's the reason why I don't use the term jihadist to refer to terrorists. It gives them the religious legitimacy they so desperately seek, but I ain't gonna give it to them."
Brennan referred in his speech to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, Al-Quds. He blamed overzealous enforcement by the U.S. government for “creating an unhealthy atmosphere around many Muslim charities that made Muslims hesitant to fulfill their sacred obligation of zakat.” Apparently, Brennan was blind to the fact that many of these charities were used as fronts to fund terrorism, including the notorious Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. During the same 2010 Islamic Center speech, Brennan expressed satisfaction with the 20 percent recidivism rate among Guantanamo detainees, some of whom he acknowledged had participated in new terrorist attacks. “Twenty percent isn’t that bad,” he exclaimed.
In 2011, Brennan called for the FBI to eliminate its "offensive" curriculum and training materials, which made reference to "jihad" and "radical Islam."
Both before and after Brennan served in the Obama administration, he has also consistently understated the threat posed by the radical fundamentalist Iranian regime and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. In a paper he published in July 2008, Brennan called on U.S. officials to "cease public Iran-bashing." In an August 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he declared that he was “pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion." As Obama’s deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, Brennan advocated reaching out to the so-called “moderate” elements of Hezbollah.
As CIA director, Brennan praised the Iranian regime for what he said were the “concessions” its leaders supposedly made to reach agreement on Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal. He claimed the deal was “as solid as you can get.” In fact, Obama made all of the concessions, agreeing to a deal full of loopholes exploited by Iran, which in the end allows Iran a pathway to developing nuclear weapons and the missiles capable of delivering them.
On January 2, 2018, Brennan tweeted his displeasure with the Trump administration’s condemnation of both the Iranian regime and the nuclear deal: “With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran.”
In fact, the appeasement policies followed by Obama and Brennan bolstered the Iranian regime and filled its coffers with cash to fund its state sponsorship of terrorism and support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s brutal war on his own people. Obama and Brennan also turned a blind eye to the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses at home.
John Brennan, who entered the CIA despite his past support for the head of the U.S. Communist Party, rose to the top of the intelligence agency to become perhaps its worst director ever. He is the last person to give anyone advice on national security, let alone to President Trump, who has had to clean up the mess left behind by Obama and Brennan.