In an adjacent post Paul cites DCI nominee John Brennan’s 2010 speech at NYU. The video of Brennan speaking to a Muslim audience as part of “A Dialogue on Our Nation’s Security” held at NYU is still available on the White House Web site. The speech was part of a public forum co-hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Islamic Center at New York University. As Brennan moves to head the CIA, the video is once again must viewing.
As Paul notes, I observed Brennan testifying to the beauty and goodness of Islam in a speech full of the apologetics, false equivalences and straw men that we have come to expect from the Obama administration in addressing these matters. As he instructs the faithful in the meaning of Islam, he doesn’t quite get around to the subject of jihad.
Painful as it is, Brennan’s speech is worth watching in its entirety. Brennan decries “violations” of the PATRIOT Act (?!), surveillance that has been viewed as excessive, policies that have been perceived as profiling, and the creation of an “unhelpful atmosphere” around Muslim charities. Brennan doesn’t mention the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity surrounded by a particularly unhelpful atmosphere when it was shuttered by the government as a terrorist front (and later convicted on the same ground). The pandering and evasions that permeate Brennan’s speech have to be seen to be believed.
Brennan got around to the subject of jihad elsewhere. As Kerry Picket recalls, Brennan followed up on those remarks in an aborted meeting with the editors of the Washington Times. Unable to avail himself of his usual evasions, Brennan walked out of the meeting with the editors for which he himself had asked.
I originally found the White House video of Brennan’s presentation at NYU via Josh Gerstein/Politico.