War On Terror: In picking his terror czar for CIA chief, the president claimed John Brennan has “decimated” al-Qaida. In fact, Brennan’s terror-fighting record should disqualify him from the job.
Obama also said that “in moments of debate,” Brennan isn’t afraid to speak to the American people about sensitive decisions and actions. Except in the case of Benghazi. In that moment, when al-Qaida stormed our consulate and murdered our ambassador, Brennan was AWOL. And he’s been absent ever since.
It’s been months since al-Qaida pulled off its worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11, and yet the White House counterterrorism chief remains mum. He hasn’t said a word about it, in sharp contrast to his camera-mugging after the SEALs took out Osama bin Laden.
Why? Because he dropped the ball in Libya. He underestimated al-Qaida’s strength in North Africa.
There’s also growing suspicion he orchestrated the cover-up of the Benghazi fiasco. Sen. Lindsey Graham and others suspect it was Brennan who scrubbed “al-Qaida” from Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points.
Brennan’s Drone Doctrine has clearly failed to eradicate al-Qaida. So has killing bin Laden. While Brennan and Obama were spiking the football, the terror group was retrenching in Libya and the Sinai Peninsula. They’ve been fighting the old al-Qaida. While Obama was doing his victory lap over assassinating a wizened porn addict, al-Qaida’s new leaders were plotting to assassinate U.S. diplomats.
Bin Laden may be dead, but his foot soldiers are on the march in North Africa. The State Department reports that al-Qaida now boasts at least a “thousand fighters” in the Islamic Maghreb, a region that includes Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Mali.
And despite ordering more than 30 drone strikes in Yemen this year alone, Brennan has still failed to take out arguably the most dangerous terrorist of all: al-Qaida bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asari. His survival proves you can’t win the war on terror from 30,000 feet.
Yet Brennan insists on relying on drone strikes. In 2010, he announced that the administration would no longer use a “hammer” to go after terrorists but instead use a “scalpel.” He said it would use the Pentagon more like the CIA. Our troops, meanwhile, would be used to “win the hearts and minds” of local Muslims.
When terrorists are caught on U.S. soil, as in the case of the Christmas Day bomber, Brennan has handled them as if they were random criminals. He lets even foreign enemies trained by al-Qaida lawyer up.
Brennan, who oversees the administration’s “comprehensive counterterror strategy” involving Homeland Security, the FBI and Defense, is also soft on the broader war on terror: jihad.
He has bleached “jihad” from all counterterror training. At a Center for Strategic and International Studies speech, Brennan argued the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. He even defended jihad as “a legitimate tenet of Islam.”
Brennan isn’t even suited for the job he’s got now, let alone director of intelligence.