US Muslims Object to Obama Spy Nominee
09 Jan 2013 01:18 GMT
 

CAIRO - The nomination of John Brennan to become the next CIA director is drawing opposition from the Muslim community in the United States over his support for drone attacks and the use of torture techniques.

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CAIRO - The nomination of John Brennan to become the next CIA director is drawing opposition from the Muslim community in the United States over his support for drone attacks and the use of torture techniques.

"In John Brennan we have an 'architect' of the secret, unaccountable and counterproductive campaign of targeted killings that may violate international laws of war and continues to generate hostility to our nation around the world,” the umbrella Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.

Brennan, a counter-terrorism adviser, was nominated by President Barack Obama to become the new director of the CIA.

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But his nomination drew Muslim fire over the nominee's support for the targeted killings using drones.

“We are not alone in voicing concerns about the drone program,” the Washington-based group said.

Washington has been using drones to target terror suspects in Pakistan, Yemen and other areas.

Brennan has publicly defended the US campaign of lethal drone strikes as legal under international law.

US drone strikes in Pakistan have been a source of tension with the United States.

One national security official familiar with Brennan's White House record said he is expected to favor aggressively moving forward with drone operations, even at the expense of offending Pakistani sensibilities.

"Brennan has helped construct and justify the Administration's claim that it can kill people, including American citizens, abroad on its own authority, even when those people are not in countries with which we are at war,” CAIR said.

Torture Defender

The Muslim group said the CIA nominee was a staunch supporter for aggressive torture techniques and renditions under former president George W. Bush.

"In this nominee, we also have an individual who sought to provide legal justification for the rendition and torture of suspects in secret prisions,” it said.

“Mr. Brennan has admitted he was 'intimately familiar now over the past decade with the cases of rendition,' which he praised as 'an absolutely vital tool.'”

Under the Bush administration, the CIA used to abduct terror suspects and sending them to other countries to be tortured

Since 9/11, the CIA has rendered more than 100 people from one country to another, usually with well-documented records of abuse, without legal proceedings.

The Muslim group said that the CIA nominee was a defender of the abusive interrogation techniques against terror suspects.

“In a 2007 interview with CBS, Mr. Brennan endorsed the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation tactics'' -- short of waterboarding -- and defended then attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey's refusal to say whether waterboarding amounted to torture.”

"Mr. Brennan must be questioned on these important issues impacting the rule of law, respect for human rights and America's standing in history."

The Muslim group appealed to the American public to stand up against practices that run counter against the American ideals.

"Americans of all backgrounds should be concerned about our nation's growing utilization of practices that were historically viewed as beyond the pale for use by our nation's military and intelligence services.”The United States is home to a Muslim community of between six to eight million.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net



-- OnIslam


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