John Brennan’s nomination for CIA Chief in the wake of David “All In” Patreaus’ fall from grace is hardly a surprise. In 2008, Brennan was Obama’s pick for the role, but retracted his nomination after his support for “enhanced interrogation” and “rendition” were widely criticized by a nation hopeful of change. Such objections to bush-era tactics now seem quaint in the face of a planetary-wide drone war that is overseen by Brennan and President Obama in the comfort of the Situation Room.
But now, he is back. The past, it seems, cannot foreclose a destiny in the waiting. I’m reminded here of Marx’s oft-quoted phrase on history repeating itself in the Eighteenth Brumaire:
Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
You just can’t keep a good guy down.
Brennan is the architect of the CIA’s drone wars, and during his time as Obama’s counter-terrorist czar, wrested power away from the CIA and centralized it within the White House, as the Washington Post extensively covered in 2012. While Patreaus’ incumbency at the agency represented the (c)overt militarization of the CIA, having the master of the “disposition matrix” and “playbook” at the helm represents no more than business as usual.
The architect of the drone war is made…architect of the drone war.
[Glenn Greenwald has his take here]