With the recent departures of OMB Director Peter Orszag, Economic Policy Advisor Lawrence Summers and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the next senior Obama administration official expected to quit is the National Security Advisor to the President, James Jones. All other things being equal, his successor seems likely to be the President's Homeland Security Advisor, John Brennan (who also serves as General Jones' deputy).
Such a promotion for Mr. Brennan would not only be unwarranted and ill-advised. To the extent it would affirm and further institutionalize John Brennan's willful blindness, or worse, towards the most serious threat of our time - the supremacist totalitarian politico-military-legal program authorities of Islam call shariah - it could prove catastrophic.
A pathbreaking new "Team B II" study sponsored by the Center for Security Policy and entitled Shariah: The Threat to America documents the publicly available evidence of Brennan's dereliction of duty. These include: his systematic failure to recognize what animates our enemy; his insistence on characterizations of our foes that interferes with, if not utterly precludes, effective countermeasures - especially against shariah-adherents' use of stealthy techniques to achieve our submission; and the "outreach" he engages in and encourages to Muslim Brotherhood operatives.
Without access to classified information, and in the absence of the sort of congressional oversight and forensic investigation we can only hope will be forthcoming after November's elections, it is impossible to say with certainty how bad is the cumulative effect of John Brennan's tenure in a position largely cloaked in secrecy with respect to government deliberations and policy-making.
Still, recent events provide a chilling sense of the impact of what Team B member Admiral James "Ace" Lyons has called Brennan's "see-no-evil, speak-no-evil" approach - one that is utterly athwart the time-validated prescription of the great Chinese strategist, Sun Tsu, that victory in war depends on knowing one's enemy. Consider three examples:
Team B Member Patrick Poole revealed last week that, in adherence to the Brennan outreach mantra, the FBI provided a six-week training - and intelligence-collection opportunity - to a known Hamas operative named Sheikh Kefah Mustapha. When challenged, a Bureau spokesman insisted that there was no problem with doing so because Mustapha "had never been convicted of any crime." Never mind that he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history or fired from a volunteer chaplain post with the Illinois State Police when his terrorist ties were exposed.
We also learned last week that a man brought into the White House in April for a high-level Muslim outreach effort designed "to update members of the Arab-American community on issues of their concern, Hatem Abudayyeh, had his home raided by the FBI on suspicion of ties to terrorism in the Middle East and Latin America. As Andy McCarthy makes plain in an important essay National Review Online, Abuddayyeh's ties to unsavory individuals like friend-of-Obama Rashid Khalidi should be a concern on multiple levels.
The Pentagon recently released its final after-action report concerning the Fort Hood massacre allegedly committed by a self-described "Soldier of Allah" named Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan. This document became the latest in a series of strategy papers, policy documents and guidelines issued by law enforcement, intelligence, military and homeland security agencies that fail to use words like "Islam," "Muslim," "shariah," "Muslim Brotherhood," or "jihad." In fact, John Brennan has expressly forbidden the use of the term "jihad" as he considers it to be a "legitimate tenet of Islam" whose correct translation is personal struggle, not holy war.
The practical effect of such direction is to leave the United States exceptionally vulnerable to the kind of warfare our shariah-adherent jihadist enemies have operationalized here in the United States - namely, the stealthy kind practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood which calls it "civilization jihad." Brennan evidently neither understands nor is working to counter this threat.
To the contrary, to the extent that he is engaging in willfully blind behavior that is perceived by our shariah-adherent foes as submission (the literal meaning of the word "Islam"), he is setting the stage for our enemies to abandon the sub rosa civilization jihad in favor of the kind Mohammed principally practiced: the terrifyingly violent version of holy war.
Fortunately, one upside of the Ground Zero mosque controversy is that it has prompted lots of Americans to start asking hard questions, reflecting a growing awareness of shariah. They want to know, for example, about the conflicting peaceful and warlike passages of the Koran, the horrible treatment of "infidels," apostates, women and those who besmirch Islam and its followers' "honor" or sensibilities. Some of these were featured in two, hour-long specials broadcast over the weekend by ABC News.
Regrettably, the "20/20" and "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" programs largely failed to answer these questions - most especially with respect to the stealth jihad. But there is no question that a serious debate has begun and that there is a growing appreciation that the U.S. government's stewardship with respect to this most urgent of national security imperatives is seriously deficient.
For there to be real change in policy, however, there needs to be real change in policymakers. John Brennan should be encouraged to join the exodus from Team Obama's senior ranks, not promoted to a position in which he can do vastly more harm.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.
With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.
War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.