The Washington Post previews a speech that top Obama counterterrorism aide John Brennan will give later this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (I’ll be there to cover it.) It looks like it’ll unite some recent speeches and statements on the administration’s approach to the terrorism challenge — like Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s remarks last week to the Council on Foreign Relations and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair’s June address to the Chamber of Commerce, to name two — under the banner of a broad strategy. Here’s Brennan’s gist:
“It needs to be much more than a kinetic effort, an intelligence, law enforcement effort. It has to be much more comprehensive,” said Brennan, who will address the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Thursday. “This is not a ‘war on terror.’ . . . We cannot let the terror prism guide how we’re going to interact and be involved in different parts of the world.”
As The Post reports, the Bush team said a lot of this stuff as well. Back in 2005, for instance:
“It is more than just a military war on terror,” Steven Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview.”It’s broader than that. It’s a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative.”
So it’s on Brennan to explain how this approach is more than saying,* No, no, we mean it this time … *Is there an ideological component? Or does that implicitly overestimate the intellectual force that al-Qaeda possesses and counterproductively links al-Qaeda to a mainstream of Islamic thought? How does Brennan link Afghanistan, where the mission appears to be moving to something beyond counterterrorism, to this effort? Are these changes in policy or changes in branding?
And: how do the Republicans react? If the Obama administration is doing anything, it’s slowly killing the idea of a war on terrorism, which became almost a culture-war issue during the Bush era. “You cannot win a war when you don’t believe you’re fighting one,” President George W. Bush hectored in the days before the 2004 election. Do the Republicans let that one go? Do they say that President Obama’s just being Bush-lite? Do they attack Obama for being weak? Or do they do all these attacks at once and see what sticks?
Oh and by the way: eight years ago today, Bush received at his Crawford ranch a briefing from the CIA titled ‘Bin Ladin Determined To Strike In U.S.’ I’ve been told by the White House that it’s just a coincidence, but quite an resonant parallel even if so. (Thanks to @emptywheel for the reminding tweet.)
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Pete Hoekstra Bashes Global Currency
I was just talking to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s leaving Congress to run for governor of Michigan, about his proposed Parental Rights Amendment—a
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Pete Hoekstra Surging in Michigan Gubernatorial Bid
The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee -- you couldn’t flip on a TV without seeing him in the aftermath of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s botched
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.