Deputy National Security Advisor, John Brennan, took to USA Today's Op-Ed page on Tuesday, to give critics of the Obama Administration's terror policies a piece of his mind.
"Politics should never get in the way of national security," Brennan cautioned. "But too many in Washington are now misrepresenting the facts to score political points, instead of coming together to keep us safe."
Brennan's words come after weeks of loud GOP criticism over how the Obama Administration chose to handle the Christmas Day bombing attempt by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Though many in the GOP have maintained that Abdulmutallab should have been put in military custody and been denied his Miranda rights in order to ensure that he was interrogated with maximum efficiency, recent reports have emerged, showing that he has been cooperating and providing helpful information, despite being given normal protection under American law.
"The most important breakthrough occurred after Abdulmutallab was read his rights, which the FBI made standard policy under Michael Mukasey, President Bush's attorney general," Brennan wrote in his op-ed. "The critics who want the FBI to ignore this long-established practice also ignore the lessons we have learned in waging this war."
Brennan also maintained that prisoners in military custody are no more likely to provide any sort of actionable intelligence. "There is little difference between military and civilian custody, other than an interrogator with a uniform," Brennan said. "The suspect gets access to a lawyer, and interrogation rules are nearly identical."
In his conclusion, Brennan took an increasingly critical tone:
"Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda. Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill. They will, however, be dismantled and destroyed, by our military, our intelligence services and our law enforcement community. And the notion that America's counterterrorism professionals and America's system of justice are unable to handle these murderous miscreants is absurd."
Brennan's op-ed accompanies mounting evidence that the GOP is seeking to drive a wedge between their national security policies and those of the Obama Administration. As the Republicans prepare for upcoming elections, GOP leadership hopes to be able to capitalize on some clear us-versus-them clashes between the two parties.