News Release

* Brennan Claimed no Civilian Drone Killings * Hagel, Smeared; Voted for Iraq War

Reuters reports: “President Barack Obama on Monday will announce the nominations of Republican Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan as the new CIA director, a senior administration official said.”

RAY McGOVERN [email]
McGovern is a veteran CIA analyst. He has scrutinized Brennan’s backing of torture and drone killings. See his interview “Obama’s and Brennan’s ‘Kill List‘” and his letter on Brennan, in which he notes: “Nov. 24, 2008 saw the publication of a letter to President-Elect Obama, signed by 200 psychologists, urging him not to select John Brennan to head the CIA because of his open support of ‘dark-side’ policies (Brennan’s, as well as Dick Cheney’s, adjective). Brennan withdrew his name the next day, and The New York Times explained the move as a reaction to ‘concerns he was intimately linked to controversial CIA programs authorized by President Bush.’

“Brennan is now the administration’s strongest advocate of extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens by drones. As for civilian deaths from CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Brennan made the preposterous claim [in June 2011] that, over the previous year, ‘there hasn’t been a single collateral death’ from CIA drone strikes there.” McGovern is scheduled to speak at a protest at 1:00 p.m. outside the White House, as Obama is scheduled to make the nomination.

McGovern also recently wrote “Obama Needs Hagel in the Pentagon.” McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates.

ANDREW BACEVICH [email]
Available for a limited number of interviews, Bacevich’s books include Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War. Currently professor of international relations and history at Boston University, he is a former career army officer. He said today: “Critics charge that Hagel is not in the ‘mainstream.’ This is absurd unless being in mainstream requires eagerness for war against Iran and unquestioned deference to the government of Israel.”

STEVE CLEMONS [email]
Clemons is the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He has written several pieces on the Hagel nomination, available at The Atlantic and his own TheWashingtonNote.com — some scrutinized the claims of Hagel’s pro-war attackers.

ALI GHARIB, [email], @Ali_Gharib
Gharib is senior editor with Open Zion at The Daily Beast. His pieces on the Hagel nomination include “A Liberal Critique Of Hagel?

SAM HUSSEINI [email]
Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “With the Hagel nomination, former ‘anti-war’ candidate Barack Obama continues to appoint individuals to top foreign policy positions who voted for or otherwise backed the invasion of Iraq. This includes Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Robert Gates as well as John Kerry. Those who actually opposed the war from the start have been iced out. In establishment Washington, you get points for being wrong on the most important foreign policy question of your career.

“Particularly noteworthy are the contortions ‘reasonable’ individuals like Hagel have gone through. For example, when I questioned him in 2007, he said he did regret his Iraq war vote, but argued that it wasn’t actually a war vote, couldn’t bring himself to say the Bush administration had rigged the intelligence about Iraqi WMDs and gave as reasons for opposing the war things that were known before the war.” [Video at WashingtonStakeout]

See 2008 IPA news release: “Anti-War Candidate, Pro-War Cabinet?