Spooking The Spook

by digby

Oh my goodness, the mean liberal blogs spiked John Brennens' possible nomination to CIA or DNI. Greenwald has the details at his place.

It's very nice to be seen as being so fearsome, but I suspect this has more to do with Obama's foreign policy. He simply cannot be seen around the world to be backtracking on torture, Gitmo and the rest. If he insists on not investigating or prosecuting anyone for past crimes, which unfortunately seems likely, then he absolutely must make it clear through his appointments, public statements and actions that the practice has ended.

The New York Times characterizes Brennan's withdrawal it in somewhat hysterical terms:

... the episode shows that the C.I.A.’s secret detention program remains a particularly incendiary issue for the Democratic base, making it difficult for Mr. Obama to select someone for a top intelligence post who has played any role in the agency’s campaign against Al Qaeda since the Sept. 11 attacks.

There are obviously many members of the intelligence community who have "played a role"in the agency's campaign against al Qaeda" who were not among George Tenents top lieutenants when the practice of torture was institutionalized. If there aren't, then we have bigger problems than I realized.

In any case, I'm gratified that liberal blogs are considered critics with enough stature to sink a potential CIA chief. We've come a long way. If that means that anyone who had knowledge of this torture regime and failed to unequivocally denounce it in clear and unambiguous terms, simply cannot hold high office in the intelligence community, then we've done well.