A Call from former Military Personnel and Government Officials to Reject Nomination of John Brennan as Director of the CIA
As former military personnel and government officials, we are deeply concerned about the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. As President Obama’s current counterterrorism advisor, Brennan has been the mastermind behind the administration’s lethal drone program, which is killing innocent civilians abroad and sowing strong anti-American sentiment throughout the world.
Retired General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, recently said that the resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes is much greater than the average American appreciates. “They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one,” he warned. This is dangerous for our national security. Just look at the case of Pakistan, where the CIA’s profligate use of drone strikes has led 3 out of 4 Pakistanis to believe that the United States is their enemy. Unfortunately, drone strikes now serve as the primary recruiting tool for anti-American militants.
We are particularly concerned about drones in the hands of the CIA. While the military has rules of engagement, more open procedures for the use of force, and a chain of command that is supposed to ensure accountability, the CIA does not. It is a civilian organization that, with its own fleet of drones, has been engaged in lethal actions veiled in secrecy and devoid of accountability.
We urge you to use the occasion of this nomination to not only question Brennan’s qualifications for this job, but to also conduct a serious evaluation of the CIA’s drone program. The CIA should revert back to being an intelligence-gathering organization and we need a CIA director who is committed to overseeing this transition.
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Ray McGovern, veteran Army Intelligence officer and CIA analyst
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel
Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret)
Mark Foreman, PO3, USN (Ret)
Tarak Kauff, USA
Nate Goldshlag, PFC, USA
Mike Madden, Member of Veterans For Peace, Chapter 27, St. Paul, MN