Featured Idiot: John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Chief

On April 27, 2021, The New York Times offered its readers an opinion piece by former President Obama’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan. His ridiculous piece was called “Why Biden Must Watch This Palestinian Movie.

John Brennan, Former Director of the CIA (photo: Al Drago, The New York Times)

There are too many lies and omissions to do a line-by-line review but some major themes emerge which highlight Brennan’s willful blindness of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Major Lie #1:
Israel No Longer Has Security Concerns

Brennan noted that in his visit from Jordan to Israel in 1975, Palestinian Arabs had to go through aggressive security screening which he understood as “I knew that Israel had legitimate security concerns in the aftermath of the 1967 and 1973 wars, worries that had been heightened by attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets by Palestinian terrorist organizations.” Those “worries” included wars to annihilate the Jewish State in 1967 and 1973, and the Arab world’s “Three No’s” regarding making peace, recognizing and negotiating with Israel. The Palestinian attacks were not limited to Israel but countries which supported the Jewish State, and included the assassination of U.S. Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy as well as tens of airplane hijackings.

Brennan commented that today’s world is a far cry from his 1975 experience, as Israel struck peace agreements with many Arab nations and made “significant progress in reducing violence carried out by Palestinians inside and outside the occupied territories,” with the exception of Hamas.

First, well over twenty Arab and Muslim countries still refuse to recognize Israel. Those Arab countries which have recently welcomed relations with the Jewish State were loudly condemned by Palestinians.

Second, the reason that there has been such a reduction in violence is because of the security barrier that Israel erected in reaction to the so-called “Second Intifada.” It is that very security barrier that Brennan criticized in the article, with a completely fabricated reason for that barrier’s existence:

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has spearheaded relentless expansion of settlements in the West Bank. That expansion has brought along more concrete walls, security barriers and control points, further reducing the spaces where Palestinians can live, graze their flocks, tend their olive groves and vegetable gardens without being challenged by their occupiers.”

As President Biden is fond of saying, that’s complete “malarkey.” Palestinian Arab terrorism brought the security barrier, not Jewish family homes.

The Second Intifada – not waged from Gaza but from the “West Bank” – was omitted from Brennan’s narrative. The “stabbing intifada” and the “car ramming intifada” from the West Bank in 2015 and 2016 were similarly ignored.

Further, the Muslim and Arab actors encircling and threatening Israel are irrelevant in Brennan’s opinion. The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated its desire to destroy Israel, yet Brennan’s boss gave the country over $100 billion and a legal pathway to nuclear weapons. Iran supports Hezbollah in Lebanon (which fought a war with Israel in 2006), Syria and Hamas in Gaza, each at Israel’s borders.

Brennan continued in his imaginative telling of history that former President Trump “senselessly severed funding to the Palestinian Authority.” Trump took those actions specifically because acting President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas refused to stop inciting violence against Israelis by committing to send monies to Palestinian terrorists.

So much for Palestinian Arabs and the Muslim world being peaceful and welcoming Israelis.

Major Lie #2:
Palestinians Have Made No Progress Towards Autonomy

Brennan added that “Despite sharply reduced tensions between Israel and the Arab world, the Palestinian people themselves have seen no appreciable progress in their quest to live in their own sovereign state.” Really? Since 1975 there has been no progress?

  • Israel handed many cities and towns – including the holy city of Bethlehem which was designated to be an international city in the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan – to the Palestinians in the 1990’s. This was the first time that local Arabs every had sovereignty in the region.
  • Israel abandoned Gaza in 2005. It was rewarded with wars from the region in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Missiles and arson balloons continue to bombard Israeli civilian centers from the strip.
  • The Palestinian Authority was created in the 1990’s as part of several agreements with Israel. The PA last held presidential elections and legislative elections in 2005 and 2006, respectively. At that time, the Palestinians elected a Holocaust denier as the president and the terrorist group Hamas which is sworn to the destruction of Israel to 58% of the parliament. The front-runner in the proposed 2021 presidential elections is a terrorist in an Israeli jail convicted of killing five and injuring many.
  • Despite Palestinians having autonomy in Gaza, an outrageous 77% of Gazans support armed attacks against Israeli civilians in a December 2020 Palestinian poll.

Palestinians have made significant advances towards independence. It has not reduced their quest for Israeli blood.

Inverted Cause-and-Effect; Upside Down Conclusions

Brennan’s fictitious narrative of the security barrier is emblematic of his distorted vision of the steps towards an enduring peace. Ignoring the fact that the security barrier was needed and built to stop West Bank Palestinians from slaughtering Israelis, and retelling it as something Israel elected to erect to protect Israeli “settlements”, turned Israelis into the aggressors rather than the victims.

Brennan wrote that Palestinian children “grow up traumatized by injustice, discrimination and violence. They live with the feeling that their existence is controlled by people who don’t care about their welfare, their safety or their future.” This is upside down. Brennan argued that the “people who don’t care” and make their lives miserable are Israelis instead of the Palestinian leadership which uses its resources for weaponry to attack Israel and for “martyr payments” to terrorists.

So Brennan celebrated Biden restarting the money spigot even though the Palestinians have not changed their violent activities.


The Times featured Obama’s CIA chief’s distorted view of history and of the present in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ignoring reality six years ago, the Obama administration enriched and empowered a state sponsor of terrorism. Brennan now hopes that the new Biden administration will similarly be oblivious to Palestinian lies and loathing, and enrich and create a new state sponsor of terrorism.


Related First One Through articles:

Israel: Security in a Small Country

Seeing Security through a Screen

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza

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