John O. Brennan

John O. Brennan

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John O. Brennan is chief counterterrorism advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

; officially his title is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President. His responsibilities include overseeing plans to protect the country from terrorism and respond to natural disasters, and he meets with the President daily. Previously, he advised Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and transition. Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for Director of the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 in the new Obama administration over concerns about his views regarding the CIA under President George W. Bush. Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation. Chief White Sr can be quoted in saying that John must be doing a good job. We are winning the war on terror.

After leaving government service in 2005, Brennan became CEO of The Analysis Corporation
The Analysis Corporation
The Analysis Corporation , now renamed as , is the Intelligence Solutions business of Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc. , a defense contracting company focused on mission-critical, technology-based US national security solutions...

, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance
Intelligence and National Security Alliance
The Intelligence and National Security Alliance is a non-profit, nonpartisan 501 professional organization for members of the United States Intelligence Community, based in Arlington, Virginia.- History :...

, an association of intelligence professionals. Brennan's 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center
National Counterterrorism Center
The National Counterterrorism Center is a United States government organization responsible for national and international counterterrorism efforts. It is based in a modern complex near McLean, Virginia called Liberty Crossing...

.

Early life and education


Brennan, the son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, Ireland, was raised in North Bergen, New Jersey
North Bergen, New Jersey
North Bergen is a township in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2010 Census, the township had a total population of 60,773. Originally founded in 1843, the town was much diminished in territory by a series of secessions. Situated on the Hudson Palisades, it is one...

. He attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary elementary school, and graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey
West New York, New Jersey
West New York is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States, situated upon the New Jersey Palisades. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 49,708.-Geography:...

.

While riding a bus to class at Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university in the United States, with three campuses in and around New York City. It was founded by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St...

, he saw an ad in The New York Times that said the CIA was recruiting, and felt a CIA career would be a good match for his "wanderlust" and his desire to do public service. He received a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in political science from Fordham in 1977. His studies included a junior year abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies
Middle Eastern studies
Middle Eastern studies is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally interpreted to cover a range of nations extending from North Africa in the west to the Chinese...

 courses at the American University in Cairo
American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo is an independent, non-profit, apolitical, secular institution of higher learning located in Cairo, Egypt...

. He also received a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

 in 1980. He speaks Arabic fluently.

Career highlights


Brennan's CIA career, which reached the "highest rungs" of the CIA, included analyst and administrative work in the Washington D.C. area, and overseas work as a spy. At one point, he was a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton. In 1996 he was CIA station chief in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

, Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers housing complex was blown up by a truck bomb and 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. In 1999 he was appointed chief of staff to George Tenet, then-Director of the CIA. Brennan became deputy executive director of the CIA in March 2001. He was director of the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center from 2003 to 2004, an office which sifted through and compiled information for President Bush's daily top secret intelligence briefings and employed the services of analysts from a dozen U.S. agencies and entities. His final post with the CIA was as director of the National Counterterrorism Center
National Counterterrorism Center
The National Counterterrorism Center is a United States government organization responsible for national and international counterterrorism efforts. It is based in a modern complex near McLean, Virginia called Liberty Crossing...

 in 2004 and 2005, which incorporated information on terrorist activities across U.S. agencies. Brennan then left government service for a few years, becoming Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance
Intelligence and National Security Alliance
The Intelligence and National Security Alliance is a non-profit, nonpartisan 501 professional organization for members of the United States Intelligence Community, based in Arlington, Virginia.- History :...

 (INSA) and the CEO of The Analysis Corporation
The Analysis Corporation
The Analysis Corporation , now renamed as , is the Intelligence Solutions business of Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc. , a defense contracting company focused on mission-critical, technology-based US national security solutions...

, before returning to government service with the Obama administration. On May 2, 2011, Brennan represented a team which under the direction of President Obama killed Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

. He described the moments watching the SEAL
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

 Teams move into Osama's compound as "one of the most anxiety filled times in the lives of the people assembled" and that "minutes passed like days".

Counterterrorism advisor to Obama


Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for head of the CIA under Obama because of liberal opposition to his CIA service under President George W. Bush and past public statements he had made in support the transfer of terrorism suspects to countries where they might be tortured. Obama then appointed him to be his chief counter terrorism advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.

In August 2009, Brennan criticized some Bush administration anti-terror policies saying that waterboarding had threatened national security by increasing the recruitment of terrorists and decreasing the willingness of other nations to cooperate with the U.S. He also described the Obama administration's focus as being on "extremists" and not "jihadists". He said that using the second term, which means one who is struggling for a holy goal, gives "these murders the religious legitimacy they desperately seek" and suggests the U.S. is at war with the religion of Islam.
In an early December 2009 interview with the Bergen Record Brennan remarked, "the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have to bat 1.000 every day. The terrorists are trying to be successful just once". At a press conferences days after the failed Christmas Day bomb attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253
Northwest Airlines Flight 253
Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was an international passenger flight from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan, United States...

 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber", is a suspected terrorist who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25,...

, Brennan said U.S. intelligence agencies did not miss any signs that could have prevented the attempt but later said he had let the President down by underestimating a small group of Yemeni terrorists and not connecting them to the attempted bomber. Within two weeks after the incident, however, he produced a highly critical report of the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies, concluding that their focus on terrorist attempts aimed at U.S. soil was inadequate. In February 2010, he stated on Meet the Press
Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...

that he was tired of Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 lawmakers using national security issues as political footballs, and making allegations where they do not know the facts.

External links


Interviews
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