Brennan’s broyges

Among the several Yiddish words for “angry” is “broyges.” For the purposes of alliteration and anomaly, I want to apply it to the indignation reflected in former Communist Party voter and Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan’s recent tweet on Hamas’s terrorist assault on Israel last week. Brennan was angry…with President Trump and with Israel. For both he seems to harbor a certain animus.

As Brennan’s role in the origination of the counterintelligence investigation culminating in the appointment of Robert Mueller becomes ever clearer, let us pause over this and take a look back. Whence the source of Brennan’s anger?

Brennan gave a mind-boggling speech before a Muslim audience at NYU in 2010 as part of “A Dialogue on Our Nation’s Security.” The speech must have been the keynote of the public forum co-hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Islamic Center at New York University. As Brennan moved to head the CIA in President Obama’s second term, I found the video must viewing.

Brennan testified 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.

Brennan decried “violations” of the PATRIOT Act, surveillance that had been viewed as excessive, policies that had been perceived as profiling, and the creation of an “unhelpful atmosphere” around Muslim charities. This was all of course during the nightmare years of the Bush administration. Brennan overlooked 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 permeated Brennan’s speech had to be seen to be believed.

Brennan sought to address the subject of jihad elsewhere. As Kerry Picket recalls, Brennan followed up on his NYU 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. He was, as we say, broyges.


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