Monday, President Barack Obama picked top counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to become the next head of the CIA. Brennan’s views on radical Islam may concern hawkish Senators who will scrutinize Obama’s choice for CIA chief.

In May of 2010, Fox News reported Brennan defended Jihad as a “legitimate tenet of Islam.”:

The president’s top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a “legitimate tenet of Islam,” arguing that the term “jihadists” should not be used to describe America’s enemies.
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of “political, economic and social forces,” but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in “religious terms.”

He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not “terrorism,” because terrorism is a “tactic,” and not terror, because terror is a “state of mind” — though Brennan’s title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word “terrorism” in it. But then Brennan said that the word “jihad” should not be applied either.

“Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children,” Brennan said.

The Washington Times Opinion Page met with Brennan three months later at an editorial board meeting and asked him about his remarks. Brennan asked for the meeting because he objected to an editorial the opinion page had written previously.

Brennan lost his temper relatively quickly during the question and answer time between him and then-TWT deputy editorial page editor (now with USA Today) David Mastio:

Then TWT Senior Editorial Writer Jim Robbins questioned Brennan about the issue of jihad. Brennan lost his patience at one point and decided to leave the TWT offices without answering any more questions:

TWT: You mentioned jihad, for example, and would you agree with the lesser and greater and lesser jihad framework? I mean, that’s pretty standard.

BRENNAN: Sure, it is…absolutely.

TWT: Can you give me an example of a jihad in history? Like, has there ever been a jihad…an armed jihad anywhere in history? Has it ever existed for real, or is it just a concept?

BRENNAN: Absolutely it has.

TWT: Example?

BRENNAN: I’m not going to go into this sort of history discussion here.

EILEEN TOPLANSKY: ERASING ISRAEL FROM THE MAP The denial of Israel’s right to exist by erasing it from maps is a regular component of Palestinian children’s schoolbooks. In September 2011 the official PA map of “Palestine” featured the PA areas and all of Israel (excluding the Golan Heights) wrapped in the Palestinian flag. In 2009 the British airline, BMI “removed Israel […]

DAVID GOLDMAN: WILL OBAMA DEMAND ISRAELI DISARMAMENT AGAIN? On Jan. 4, Turkish President Abdullah Gul demanded Israeli nuclear disarmament in order to achieve a nuclear free Middle East. Iran’s news agency reported: TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Ankara believes that Israel’s nuclear disarmament is necessary because it is key to the establishment of a nuclear-free Middle-East. Speaking to Foreign Affairs […]

The Christian Aid Conference on Peace and Justice in the Holy Land by Denis MacEoin **** Something has gone badly wrong when a conference of Christians praises the side most prone to violence and least disposed to peace; presents falsehoods as facts, and even denies that there is serious persecution of their own brethren in the Palestinian territories. The Christian Conference on Peace and Justice in the Holy Land took […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: HOLLOW MEN IN A HOLLOW EARTH We still think of idealists as men in worn coats sleeping on cots in cold basements. Those sorts of men can still be found, but the basements are the old digs of an evicted Latino 7th Day Adventist Church with the paint scraped off to expose the fashionably bare brickwork and go for $2,500 […]




In an interview with The Algemeiner, former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch, a lifelong Democrat who supported President Obama’s recent re-election, expressed disappointment with the President’s decision to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

“Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” said Koch, adding, “it comes a little earlier than I thought it would.”

“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it,” Koch said, “and it undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he (the President) worries about that now that the election is over.”

The former mayor who is beloved among many in New York’s Jewish community, said that he believes the appointment will embolden Islamists and will be damaging to the U.S.-Israel relationship.


WASHINGTON, January 7, 2013 ― So greed is good, is it? Word has it that Al Gore is set to pocket between $70 and $100 million from a deal between him (and his partners) and Arab TV. Specifically, Qatar-funded Al-Jazeera has forked over $500 million to buy Gore’s Current TV, a cable channel that floats somewhere out there in Newton Minow’s “vast [television] wasteland.”

Most Americans have never heard of “Current TV,” though we have heard of Al-Jazeera. Media pundits are already jumping all over this, complaining that with this access into our living rooms, “Islamist” Al-Jazeera may pollute our news.


You mean it can get worse than than it already is from our existing major networks? You mean news reporting can get even more biased?

You mean there will be more America-hating, more Israel bashing – even more than we already get from Tom Friedman and Bob Simon?

We don’t need Hanan Ashrawi to go on Al-Jazeera to justify terrorism. We keep getting her on CNN. So there’s nothing to fear; the harm’s been done from within. Outsiders are redundant.

I am, however, nothing but impressed by a gambler who cannot lose, such as Julian Rothschild, in The Prince of Dice, who learned how to toss the helicopter from Slim Sam Belmont in Vegas and got those dice to land on the money.

Moreover, Julian was blessed.

Most gamblers are not blessed, and I have hung around them all my life, at the racetracks, at the casinos, even wrote bestsellers related to gambling, and trust me, for every winner there are a thousand losers – but here comes Al Gore!

What luck! As Sultan Ibrahim Hassan tells Joshua Kane in Indecent Proposal, “Luck is everything.”


Former senator Chuck Hagel is a war hero and public official who has served America honorably. However, his views on foreign and defense policy are out of the mainstream, and he is not a good fit for secretary of Defense. I expect to oppose his nomination for several reasons:

His record on Israel strongly suggests that he views Israel not as our friend but as a nuisance. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is critical to our national security, but Hagel has been far too willing to undermine that alliance. He was one of only four senators who refused to sign a letter urging the president to express solidarity with Israel and condemn the Palestinian campaign of violence. And he has stated that he believes Israel has “chained down” the Palestinians.

Equally concerning is Hagel’s willingness to accept rogue states as legitimate players on the international stage on par with our friends. For instance, he voted against designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, opposed renewal of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and opposed the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act. He has advocated direct, comprehensive negotiations with Iran’s government, along with Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.

Iran is rapidly pursuing nuclear weapons capacity. The surest way to avoid military conflict is to have a strong and credible defense; weakness and appeasement only invite military aggression.


“But give Mr. Hagel this: When it comes to expressing himself about Israel, its enemies, and the influence of the so-called Jewish lobby, he has been nothing if not consistent and outspoken. Maybe that’s political courage. Or maybe it’s a mental twitch, the kind you can’t quite help. The confirmation process should be illuminating.”

A brave soldier who knows how to be on the right side of conventional wisdom.

Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska and Barack Obama’s choice to be secretary of defense, served with honor as an infantryman in Vietnam and was wounded twice. This fact, a tribute to Mr. Hagel’s personal courage, will now be trotted out repeatedly as proof of his fitness to serve in high office.

If the standard by which our prospective secretaries of defense should be judged is prior military service, neither Edwin Stanton (Lincoln’s secretary of war) nor Henry Stimson (FDR’s) would have passed the test. Robert McNamara and Don Rumsfeld would have. But I digress.

Perhaps the better test for Mr. Hagel is political courage, something he’s supposed to possess in spades. “He had the courage to buck his own party on the Iraq War,” says White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. Tweets David Axelrod: “He’s tough, courageous, sensible & able to withstand political pressure to do what’s right for USA. What we need!”


If Barack Obama wants a fight over his appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of Defense, the Republicans have a constitutional responsibility to give him one.

The Senate’s role, to “advise and consent” to the appointment, is a description of duty, not a command to “echo and obey,” which is the president’s idea of how Congress should respond to all of his appointments, legislation, whims, wishes and dreams.

Mr. Obama, like all presidents, is entitled to choose his aides, helpers, assistants, deputies and seconds, subject to the advice of the Senate, and to consent once the senators are satisfied that the president knows what he’s doing. The rest of us have to depend on the judgment of the senators, frightening thought though that can be

Mr. Hagel comes with some qualifications that commend him to all of us. He served two terms in the Senate, leaving with no moral or legal blemishes on his record – no scandal in a men’s room, no arrests for driving drunk or drugged, nor is he pursued by indictment for mis- or malfeasance of office. Congress often lives up to Mark Twain’s description of it as our native criminal class, but Mr. Hagel comes clean. There’s no paper on him. Unlike some of the chickenhawks in Washington, Democrat and Republican alike, Mr. Hagel never dodged putting on his country’s uniform. He returned from the Vietnam War a wounded hero, a grunt with two Purple Hearts.