John Brennan took the oath on his swearing in as DCIA today on a draft of the Constitution. The photo is below.
Commentators on the photograph make something of the fact that the draft Brennan swore on lacked the Bill of Rights. Has anyone bothered to read the Federalist lately? Publius (Hamilton) in Federalist 84 makes the case that a bill of rights is unnecessary and perhaps even dangerous to the liberties protected by the Constitution. C’mon, people, maybe Brennan is a Hamiltonian.
Or maybe Brennan is, as the rumor has it, a Muslim, allegedly converted while serving in Saudi Arabia, and avoiding the use of a Bible for that reason. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as they say, though it would be nice to know where he’s coming from.
Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution on which Brennan swore his oath requires that such oaths vow support of the Constitution. Swearing a constitutional oath on any version of the Constitution, with or without the Bill of Rights, is simply redundant and slightly weird.
It should be noted that the same provision of the Constitution also unqualifiedly prohibits any religious test for office: “[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” It is one of the supreme glories of the Constitution.
It would nevertheless be nice to know more about the deep thoughts of our new DCIA who is, based on what we already know about his views, unfit for the high office he attained today.