THE BLOG

The CIA Goes To Hollywood, And John Brennan Takes Flak

01/10/2013 10:45 am ET | Updated Mar 12, 2013

Zooming in on the CIA

Journalist Ted Gup in a New York Times op-ed says "The C.I.A. invokes secrecy to serve its interests but abandons it to burnish its image and discredit critics."

Both this and Michael Hastings's piece at BuzzFeed on "The CIA's Hollywood Coup" slam the agency for a too close relationship with movie and mythmakers. Expect this topic to get a lot of extra airing now that Zero Dark Thirty and Argo have been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

On a similar note, Glenn Greenwald criticizes the government for prosecuting Bradley Manning -- but not Bob Woodward, a prolific revealer of classified information from the CIA and elsewhere. A key point in the prosecution of Manning appears to be that bin Laden was found with some of the WikiLeaks documents at his compound. Greenwald argues:

"But let's apply the government's theory in the Manning case to one of the most revered journalists in Washington: Bob Woodward, who has become one of America's richest reporters, if not the richest, by obtaining and publishing classified information far more sensitive than anything WikiLeaks has ever published. For that reason, one of Woodward's most enthusiastic readers was Osama bin Laden."

Homeland security's semantic insecurity

Homeland security is expected to grow from a $51 billion "market" in 2012 to a $107.3 billion one in 2020. Too bad the government has no idea what the phrase "homeland security" even means.

John Brennan, liberal lion? Not so fast

Michael Cohen in Foreign Policy argues that the left should stop worrying and learn to love John Brennan. Only the architect of the drone program, he says, can stop the drone program.

Tell that to Demand Progress and CREDO Action: the two progressive advocacy groups seem to be the first out of the woodwork to outright oppose the Brennan nom. Key quote:

"John Brennan has presided over an assassination program which has resulted in at least many hundreds of civilian deaths in Pakistan and Yemen (including the death of an American teenager who had no involvement in terrorism). ... It's absurd, it's illegal, it's completely antithetical to democratic values, and it's morally repugnant. We need to speak out and tell the Senate: Enough!"

Full disclosure: I'm friends with DP executive director David Segal. If you can't get enough of Brennan talk, watch this HuffPost Live segment I did last night with Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, activist Kevin Zeese, and ex-State Department spokesman PJ Crowley:

Thursday follow:

PJ Crowley (@PJCrowley).

(1:38 PM update to correct Demand Progress/CREDO link).