“Our strategy is…shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics,” Brennan claimed. “I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.”
Watch here (15:38 to 16:07):
Three years later to the day, on June 29, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced that it now ruled large swaths of Iraq and Syria as a caliphate.
ISIL, which grew out of al Qaeda in Iraq before eventually being disowned by al Qaeda’s senior leadership, changed its name to simply the “Islamic State.” And the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, is now known as “Caliph Ibrahim.”
Mass killings and mayhem follow the Islamic State wherever it goes. They are still marauding through Iraq — two months after their current campaign began in early June.
The threat from the Islamic State is so great that President Obama, who campaigned on supposedly bringing an “end” to the war in Iraq, has now ordered airstrikes and humanitarian relief missions in northern Iraq. Those strikes are intended to protect American diplomats and aid Iraqis under siege.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Two former CIA officials who fought in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, were asked to sign additional nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) more than six months after those attacks. The two officials, who will testify Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were presented the nondisclosure agreements during a memorial service in May at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, honoring Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two of the CIA-affiliated personnel who died during those attacks.
In a May 30, 2013, letter to CIA officers on the ground last fall in Benghazi, Libya, CIA director John Brennan notified survivors of those attacks that congressional oversight committees remain interested in hearing from them.
John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sent a letter to each of the CIA employees who were on the ground during the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, inviting them to share information with Congress, according to three sources familiar with the missive. Brennan sent the letter in late May at the behest congressional intelligence committees, whose members remain interested in hearing from the survivors of those attacks.
Top U.S. intelligence officials revealed new details about the exploitation of Osama bin Laden’s extensive archive during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. The officials revealed that at least several hundred intelligence reports have been generated based on an analysis of bin Laden’s files.
John Brennan was sworn in today at the White House. He was confirmed as the new CIA director yesterday.
"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," according to the White House. He does not appear to have placed his hand on a Bible, a Torah, a Koran, or other sacred religious text as he said the oath.
Senators have been promised "full access to documents outlining the President’s authority to conduct targeted killings of Americans in counter terrorism operations," according to Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine). In exchange, President Obama hopes the senators will vote for John Brennan for CIA director.
During a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center on April 30, 2012, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, discussed “The Ethics and Efficacy of the U.S. President’s Counterterrorism Strategy.” Brennan explained that President Obama has “pledged to share as much information with the American people ‘so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable.’ ” Obama, he continued, “has consistently encouraged those of us on his national security team to be as open and candid as possible.” After all, “our democracy depends” upon “transparency.”
John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, is getting renewed scrutiny for a highly questionable claim he made during his confirmation hearings last week. On Tuesday, two Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco Rubio and James Risch, wrote to Brennan to request additional information concerning Ali Harzi, a suspect in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.