John Brennan assesses

CIA Director John Brennan appeared for an interview on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (video below, 22 minutes). At the outset of the interview, Wallace asked tough questions related to the deal in process with Iran. In context, despite the gravity of the questions, Brennan’s expressions of comfort and assurance on the part of President Obama and Secretary Kerry come across almost laughable.

At 5:00, Wallace asks Brennan which is a greater threat to the United States, Iran or ISIS? One can gauge Brennan’s level of candor in the interview from his response to this question. Contrast it, for example, with David Petraeus’s unconstrained assessment in Liz Sly’s Washington Post article “Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq.”

Brennan proceeds to elaborate his perception of the common interests of the United States and Iran to resist ISIS in Iraq. Brennan takes no account of Iran’s support of terrorism to expand its influence in Iraq to the detriment of the United States. To his credit, Wallace refers to the Petraeus interview and presses Brennan on this point. Brennan will only concede: “I wouldn’t consider Iran an ally inside of Iraq right now.” Brennan adds that Iran “needs to make sure they’re not pursuing a parochial agenda” in Iraq. Well, okay.

There is a “you’ve got to me kidding me” element here that is hard to shake. If one takes Brenann’s comments at face value, one can only conclude that Brennan is overmatched in his current position, though his obeisance to Obama qualifies him perfectly for it. This is an excellent interview that allows the intelligent viewer to reach his own conclusions on matters of great importance to our future. It is well worth watching in its entirety.

Quotable quote, on the prospects of success in pushing Russia out of Ukraine: “I think that there are signs that the discomfort that is associated with this is becoming more uncomfortable.”

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