Is Brennan Now Taking Aim at Iran?
February 24, 2013 • 9:39AM

In an open letter published on, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, the head of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, calls on Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to do due diligence on CIA-nominee John Brennan "before you make the next-to-worst mistake of your tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee," the worst being Feinstein's vote, in October of 2002, to go to war in Iraq.

McGovern cites four reasons why the committee should examine Brennan's record more closely before deciding on the nomination, including possible collusion with Tony Blair and the British in fabricating intelligence leading to the Iraq war.

1) Brennan's statements to the committee lumping North Korea and Iran together as nuclear threats. Not only are they not the same — Iran has never tested a ballistic missile with a range greater than 2,200 km and it is still a member of the NPT and denies any intent to pursue nuclear weapons — but Brennan's statement "deviates sharply from the unanimous 'high confidence' judgement of all 16 intelligence agencies that Iran stopped working on nuclear weaponization at the end of 2003 and has not resumed that work."

2) Brennan worked closely with former CIA Director George Tenet, who played a key role in faking the intelligence that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq, which McGovern attributes to both Tony Blair and George Bush's knowing fabrication of intelligence. McGovern writes that former CIA colleagues who worked with Brennan say that he "almost certainly knew chapter and verse about the deliberate corruption of the intelligence on Iraq." "Would it be asking too much to request that you take greater pains to exercise due diligence, this time around, regarding those playing fast and loose with key intelligence judgments that can lead to war," McGovern asks.

3) McGovern notes that, during Brennan's confirmation hearing, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) noted that Brennan was "cc'ed" on at least 50 memos dealing with the torture of terrorism suspects. Chambliss further noted that Brennan's boss, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, told the Wall Street Journal that Brennan had a role in setting the parameters of the program and "helping to seek Justice Department approval" for the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. "This is a far cry from what Brennan admitted to," McGovern writes, which was to say that he had "awareness" that torture was going on but wasn't in a position to do anything about it.

4) Brennan claimed on June 29, 2011 that there had not been a single collateral death as a result of the killer drone program in Pakistan. Yet three months earlier, a drone strike in Pakistan killed 42 Pakistanis, most of them civilians, which the government of Pakistan strongly protested. Just on Feb. 20, Senator Lindsay Graham put the death toll from US drone strikes at 4,700. "What does John Brennan say about these inconsistencies?" McGovern asks.

The letter is signed by all nine members of the VIPS steering committee, among those besides McGovern, are former CIA officers Phil Giraldi and Larry Johnson and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowsi.