CIA Appointee's Statement on Iran Echoes Tenet on Iraq

CIA Appointee's Statement on Iran Echoes Tenet on Iraq

Lawrence Wilkerson: John Brennan claims Iran pushing towards a nuclear weapon; ignores National Intelligence Estimate which concluded Iran was not -   February 12, 2013
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

The reason I continue to support TRNN is, not only is it real, it is also the most truthful. - Dick S
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


CIA Appointee's Statement on Iran Echoes Tenet on IraqPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And welcome to this week's edition of The Wilkerson Report with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who now joins us from Williamsburg, Virginia.

Larry was the former chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. He's currently an adjunct professor of government at the College of William & Mary. And he's a regular here.

Thanks for joining us, Larry.


JAY: So what are you working on this week? What caught your attention?

WILKERSON: John Brennan's confirmation hearing, and in particular his comments, very short in his prepared testimony, more so throughout, but his comments about Iran. They strike me as being not unlike those comments made by those in the intelligence community who were more politicized, George Tenet prominently so, with regard to Iraq back in 2002. It seems like the intelligence community has changed its mind, according to John Brennan, who is not even the director yet and no longer believes Iran has not made a decision to weaponize; it has made that decision, at least the way I read his testimony.

JAY: And he doesn't give any evidence for it. But he's even contradictoring what Joe Biden said during the election campaign, who was very clear in saying that all the intelligence says that they have not made such a decision.

WILKERSON: I think that's true. I think probably it was advantageous on his part, because he knows that some of the more strident members of Congress, some of whom he has to depend on to confirm him, their views are pretty close-minded about this, and they are looking for, quote, regime change in Iran, unquote, by any means. And so he's appealing to them by stating it so apparently categorically.

JAY: So what does it tell us about his boss? President Obama appoints Hagel, Chuck Hagel, who clearly doesn't think that. Joe Biden doesn't think that. But then he appoints Brennan that talks this way. I mean, is he trying to get different voices around the table or all different forms of posturing?

WILKERSON: I hope that's the reason. You know, I could insinuate—and I will right now—that this is kind of like J. Edgar Hoover. You know, J. Edgar Hoover had so much on so many presidents and ministers of state that he could hardly be fired. Well, Brennan has accumulated quite a portfolio in that regard, particularly as regards Benghazi and as regards drone strikes and so forth. And so one can hardly have him on the outside pissing in, as Lyndon Johnson used to say. One wants him on the inside, regardless.

JAY: Now, most of the attention on Brennan was about drone strikes. He's been sitting with President Obama deciding who to kill, and his appointment there seems to be a sort of a—almost a codification of that policy. And I don't know whether Brennan will continue to sit with President Obama on that score or is he going to have some decision-making power himself at CIA.

WILKERSON: Could be. And I'm very alarmed by what I hear are sort of Iran–Contra-like, Bud McFarlane, Admiral Poindexter, Ollie North type operations out of the White House. The last time I checked, by law, the White House, the NSC staff in particular, or someone like John Brennan, is not supposed to be operationalized, that is, they're not supposed to be running operations in the field, regardless of presidential findings that might change that. I think what I'm hearing is probably accurate. And as I said, I think he probably had a lot to do with Benghazi, and maybe even some of the things he did might ought to be looked into quite closely by the oversight committees in the Congress, if not others.

JAY: In terms of developing even more of an imperial presidency, one of the Republican senators at his confirmation hearing asked him: is he going to be the CIA's representative to the White House, or the White House's representative to the CIA? What's the importance of that distinction?

WILKERSON: Well, that's an excellent question, because the CIA as it was conceived and as it has been when it operated in its best way should be distanced from the White House quite a bit. George Tenet, for example, got way too close to George W. Bush. You could say that Bill Clinton pushed the CIA director away too much.

But there has to be a happy balance. One can't be too close to the president, because one becomes then an acolyte and a disciple of what the president wants to do, and instead of giving him the real intelligence, such as it is, one gives him the things that feed his policy desires. And that's usually bad.

JAY: Alright. Thanks very much for joining us, Larry.

WILKERSON: Thank you for having me, Paul.

JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at


Latest Stories

Climate Protesters Defy State of Emergency in Paris
Protesters March to Inner Harbor Demanding Justice in First Day of Freddie Gray Case
Baltimore Residents Respond to Freddie Gray Trial
Potential Jurors Scrutinized in Freddie Gray Trial
Fossil Fuel Reps Invited to COP21 While Protest is Banned in Paris
Who is Supporting Trump?
Sheltering Liberation: A Short History of Maroon Settlements
HBCU's and Maryland Clash Over Higher Ed
Iraq War a War Crime - Pushed by Cheney Over Objections of Joint Chiefs and CIA - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (7/10)
Wilkerson: The Hypocrisy of U.S. Syria Policy (2/2)
Richard Nixon, Ted Cruz and the Abuse of Power
A Sea of Blood - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (6/10)
Behind the Music with TRNN's Stephen Janis
The Blind Spots in Alberta's Climate Change Plan
Vulture Capitalists Are the Real Winners of Argentina's Elections
Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Prevent 9/11? - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (5/10)
Eddie Conway Talks Indigenous People's Day and Political Prisoners
Indigenous Peoples' History is More Complicated Than a Holiday Myth
The Iraqi Pissing Match - John Kiriakou on RAI (4/10)
Turkey's Intentions Behind the Downing of a Russian Jet
Policing on Trial as Freddie Gray Case Set to Begin
Is America Powerless to Stop Pfizer Merger?
The Unbreakable Spirit of Gilmor Homes
My Reports on 1995 Human Rights Abuses in Bahrain Ignored by State Department - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (3/10)
Wilkerson: The Hypocrisy of U.S. Syria Policy (1/2)
"Being a Founding White Father Ain't What It Used To Be:" Student Protests on College Campuses
Days of Revolt: Militarizing Education
Historic Win for the Right in Argentina's National Election
How I Joined the CIA - John Kiriakou on Reality Asserts Itself (2/10)
Sanders Defines his Social Democracy, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting