May 26, 2012
John Brennan, counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama, has reportedly taken on the lead role in selecting which terrorists will be targeted for drone attacks or raids by the U.S. military or the CIA.
Brennan and his small team at the White House now consult with the State Department and other agencies on who should go on the target list. This change has reduced the relevancy of the Department of Defense in the decision-making, according to the Associated Press.
After consulting with others in the administration, Brennan is in a position to tell Obama who next should be killed.
Some officials in Washington told AP that giving Brennan so much power threatened to turn the White House "into a pseudo military headquarters," according to the news wire service.
Critics of Brennan were especially upset at the news.
Glenn Greenwald at Salon noted that the counter-terror chief "has been caught peddling serious falsehoods in highly consequential cases, including falsely telling the world that Osama bin Laden 'engaged in a firefight' with U.S. forces entering his house and 'used his wife as a human shield,' and then outright lying when he claimed about the prior year of drone attacks in Pakistan: 'there hasn't been a single collateral death.'"
In addition, Brennan has been a public supporter of torture and the kidnapping of suspects, even if it meant handing them over to the regime of a dictator, such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.