Posted by CODEPINK Staff
Today President Obama nominated John Brennan to be head of the CIA. This nomination is an example of the Obama administration’s continuation of the disastrous post-9/11 policies of the Bush administration. Once CODEPINK heard about the coming nomination, we decided to protest in front of the white house. Within just a couple of hours banners were made, the press was called, and other CODEPINKers were alerted.
In addition to banners, and a John Brennan mascot, activists from CODEPINK carried in a large model drone representing Brennan’s drone strikes on innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq. More than anyone else, Brennan has been responsible for the counterproductive drone policies. He has openly lied numerous times to the American public about his policies on drone strikes, first insisting there have been no civilian deaths and later claiming civilian deaths are acceptable collateral damage.
Banners reading “John Brennan = Kill List” and “John Brennan = Torture” reflected his work overseeing and managing various kill lists on “terror Tuesdays.” These lists nominate suspected militants and terrorists for murder. He has also been in charge of Obama’s controversial policy of "signature strikes” that targets people involved in "suspicious activity." Signature strikes are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians. As the head of the CIA, Brennan will have even more control over the CIA’s use of drones in places like Pakistan and Yemen.
Activists from Witness Against Torture showed up in orange jumpsuits to join CODEPINK in protest of John Brennan’s due to his atrocious record of torturing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. He supported “enhanced interrogation techniques” while serving in the spy agency during the Bush administration. When he was nominated to be CIA director in 2008, there was an outcry from human rights groups due to his support for controversial interrogation tactics, including water boarding, causing Brennan to withdraw his nomination. His record now is worse than it was back in 2008. As a chief counter terrorism adviser, he was responsible for “rendition,” i.e. sending terrorist suspects to other countries that practice torture.
We hope that John Brennan will withdraw from his nomination once again. His actions have been un-moral and un-American. He has only created more enemies for the American people, and he has no place in American government and policy.