Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIA's Osama Bin-Laden task force for many years, has had more direct experience butting heads with John Brennan than most people in the intelligence community. His commentary in Foreign Policy, posted below, is clearly worth reading carefully by every member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, before they vote on whether to confirm John Brennan as Director of the CIA. If even half of what Dr. Scheuer recounts from his own personal dealings with Brennan is true, not only should there be very serious reservations about President Obama's nomination of Brennan to head the CIA. There should be a serious inquiry into whether Brennan, in effect, has been an asset of Saudi intelligence.
The issue goes beyond Brennan's apparent repeated interventions to block CIA operations from being launched to kill or capture Bin-Laden. There is a much larger, lingering question about the role of Saudi intelligence in the overall Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Sen. Bob Graham and the Congressional select committee that he chaired had serious questions about the role of a number of Saudi intelligence officers in facilitating the 9/11 attacks. A 28-page chapter from their final report raised questions about Saudi funding of at least two of the 9/11 hijackers, and even cited money flows from the accounts of then-Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar Bin-Sultan. That 28-page chapter was blacked out of the Congressional report, and remains under wraps to this day, despite the fact that some of the factual basis for the chapter have been made public by Sen. Graham and others.
During his 2008 campaign for President, Barack Obama pledged to the families of the 9/11 victims that he would declassify the 28 pages. He even met with representatives of the families in the Oval Office in his first month in office in February 2009. Abruptly, he reversed himself and has maintained the Bush era lid ever since, even tightening it.
After reading the Michael Scheuer account of his unfortunate dealings with John Brennan, I can't help but wonder whether Brennan had a hand in convincing President Obama to maintain the suppression of these revealing pages. I certainly hope that someone on the Senate Intelligence Committee will use the occasion of the closed-door hearings on Feb. 12 to grill Mr. Brennan on this incident and his many deep and binding ties to the Saudi intelligence service--ties that Dr. Scheuer described as "this ludicrous reliance on the thoroughly unhelpful and often obstructive Saudis."
A friend in the intelligence community told me that Brennan has had closer ties to Saudi intelligence than anyone currently active in the U.S. government, and that he jealously has protected those ties, even when there was clear evidence that the Saudis were providing financing to Jihadists who were carrying out direct terrorist operations against American targets. I understand the tendency to protect "sources," but this goes way beyond anything I have seen or heard before.