MARGARET WARNER: So was Secretary Rice correct today when she called it [rendition] a vital tool in combating terrorism?
JOHN BRENNAN: I think it's an absolutely vital tool. I have been intimately familiar now over the past decade with the cases of rendition that the U.S. Government has been involved in. And I can say without a doubt that it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives.
That is certainly a troubling stance. His bad policy doesn't end there, though. There's this [via Marc Ambinder]:
Brennan and Obama have not always agreed on intelligence policy. Brennan supported retroactive legal immunity for telecomm companies who helped the government's surveillance programs after 9/11; Obama did not.
Brennan's support of retroactive legal immunity is very bad, but the idea that he and Obama strongly disagree on that is only partially true. Obama initially claimed he would filibuster any bill that contained telecomm immunity, but then rescinded that promise and voted for a bill that expanded FISA and contained immunity. ComedyandPolitics is afraid that that vote speaks volumes about Obama, where his loyalties lie, and how much we can expect from him. Obama does talk a good talk. He has said that he'll end Bush torture policies and shut down Guantanamo, but Brennan is far from an ally in the battle to regain lost civil liberties.
On a slightly related note, a judge yesterday ruled that 5 Gitmo prisoners were to be let go immediately, based on the fact that there was no evidence of wrong-doing on any of their part. This is what the Boston Globe writes about the judge in the case:
Leon, appointed by President Bush, had been expected to be sympathetic to the government. In 2005, he ruled that the men had no habeas corpus rights.
That shows you how thin the government's case was. Here is just one of the many accounts of their horrible journey:
This time last year, Hadj's 6 -year-old daughter, Saaima, died of congenital heart failure. He had not seen her since the fall of 2001, when he and the other five men were arrested by Bosnian authorities under pressure from the United States, which asserted that they were involved in planning terrorist activities in Bosnia. After a three-month investigation, the Bosnian federal prosecutor recommended to the Bosnian Supreme Court that all six be released. But again under heavy pressure from the United States, the Bosnians caved, and as the men were released from a jail in Sarajevo, the Bosnians turned them over to the United States. Hooded, shackled, and packed into waiting cars while their horrified families watched, they began the sickening odyssey that continues today.
Saber's wife was pregnant when he was taken to Guantanamo. He has never met his daughter Sara, whose shiny face framed in pink plastic sunglasses peers out from the photographs we send to him. Mustafa, a former karate champion who suffered months of facial paralysis from a brutal beating inflicted by Guantanamo camp soldiers, worries about his ailing mother in Algeria. With each passing day, it becomes more likely that he will never see her again.
More stories here, and here. Let's hope that Obama is serious about ending these policies. With the exception maybe of our crumbling economy, nothing is more important to the future of this country, which I'm no fan of anyway, so I don't care what you jerks do.