January 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama tapped two controversial figures to lead his national security team Monday, and warned that any delays caused by a confirmation fight would put the safety of the country at risk. When it comes to national security, Obama said, “we don't like to leave a lot of gaps between the time that one set of leaders transitions out and another transitions in.” But a fight was unfolding even as Obama made official the announcements of Chuck Hagel as his choice for Pentagon chief and John Brennan as head of the CIA, despite Obama's efforts to package them as a bipartisan pair.
January 7, 2013 |
In June 2011, in a major speech on anti-terrorism efforts, John Brennan made the startling claim that there hadn't been a "single collateral death" in more than 100 covert U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan over a 12-month period. Yet just three months earlier, American missiles had rained down on what senior Pakistani officials said was a tribal council over a mining dispute in North Waziristan, killing as many as 45 men, most of whom the Pakistanis insist were neither members of the Taliban nor Al Qaeda.
January 7, 2013 |
President Obama plans to nominate top counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan to lead the CIA, a senior administration official said today. Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the agency, would take the helm of the CIA in the wake of the resignation of former Army Gen. David Petraeus. The White House is kicking off its effort to promote Brennan this morning, as the president also prepares to launch his formal pitch for former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to become secretary of Defense.
January 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama turned to two men with whom he has close personal ties to fill top national security positions Monday, brushing aside warnings of fights on Capitol Hill as he reinforced his preference for working with longtime advisors. In nominating Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, for secretary of Defense and White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan to lead the CIA, Obama warned that a prolonged Senate debate over their confirmations could risk the country's safety.
August 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The White House counter-terrorism advisor on Wednesday staunchly defended the Obama administration's growing campaign of drone missile attacks in Yemen, pushing back against critics who say the drones cause civilian casualties and breed sympathy for the militants. In his most explicit comments on Washington's largely hidden military and intelligence operations in Yemen, John Brennan said no evidence indicates that the drone strikes are helping recruit members for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the Yemen-based group that is Al Qaeda's most active branch.
May 6, 2012 |
In recent weeks, a parade of top officials has given sober, underpublicized speeches explaining why President Obama not only considers "targeted killing" drone strikes against terrorists legal but has massively expanded their use, even approving a strike against a U.S. citizen, the New Mexico-born Al Qaeda preacher Anwar Awlaki, in Yemen last year. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. gave a lecture arguing that the government has a right to kill U.S. citizens who practice terrorism as long as it observes some form of "due process" in its secret decision-making.
May 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden's personal notes and letters, which were seized a year ago in the U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan, show a leader removed from day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization he founded and increasingly frustrated with the new generation of managers who were rising in the ranks. A declassified selection of the vast trove of material -- large enough, officials say, to fill a college library -- will be published online Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
April 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor Monday defended using drones to launch missiles against militants in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, saying the growing use of armed unmanned aircraft had saved American lives and caused few civilian casualties. The comments by John Brennan, coming shortly before the first anniversary of the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, marks the first time a senior White House official has spoken at length in public about widely reported but officially secret drone operations.
November 10, 2011
Captured in one-hundred-twenty-fifth of a second on a Pennsylvania afternoon in 1977, the iconic close-up portrait of the great Muhammad Ali made photographer Michael Brennan's dreams come true. With his face festooned with sweat beads, bumps and scars, the fighter paused in the corner of the ring in front of the photographer, and the rest is history. An exhibition of Brennan's photographs of Ali, appropriately titled "Muhammad Ali: 1977," will be on display, first at Design Within Reach, then at Artworks Gallery in Pasadena.
March 2, 2011 |
Yemen's president has apologized to Washington for any misunderstanding caused by his comments that blamed the United States and Israel for destabilizing Arab rulers, the White House announced on Wednesday. President Ali Abdullah Saleh also said he remains committed to political reform in Yemen, the White House said after the Wednesday telephone call from Saleh to John Brennan, deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counter-terrorism. In a Tuesday speech at Sana University in Yemen, Saleh criticized the United States and Israel for helping anti-government protesters in several Arab countries.