Cathy Reisenwitz

In the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf lays out both the reasons why President Obama should fire CIA director John Brennan, and the reasons why it would be dangerous for him to do so. Essentially, they’ve both been doing some really shady stuff, regarding both the US Constitution and international law, which they’ve both been covering up and lying about. Firing Brennan could bring more of these activities into the light, which would hurt Obama’s reputation. However, what we already know about Obama should eviscerate any shred of respectability he might have in anyone’s mind.

Brennan is currently under fire for bugging the computers of the Senate committee tasked with investigating the legality of CIA “enhanced interrogation” techniques. The CIA was mining Senators’ computers and emails to gather information on the investigation so they could begin working to discredit their reports. Brennan also lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about it, saying, “That's just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do.”

Now he’s apologized, weeks ahead of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report. It’s expected to be a scathing indictment of the CIA, showing that they exaggerated the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques to the public, fed journalists fake “leaks” and lied to members of Congress, downplaying the brutality of their information extraction practices and the extent to which they used them.

Now several Senators and even the New York Times editorial board is calling for his resignation. As Friedersdorf points out, Brennan's CIA “broke laws and undermined the separation of powers core to our democracy.”


Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a Young Voices Associate and a D.C.-based writer and political commentator.