Ex-Spy Criticizes Brennan’s ‘Freedom of Speech’ Hypocrisy

Former CIA Director John Brennan wants Americans to view him as a so-called victim of President Trump’s alleged effort to “suppress freedom of speech & punish critics.”

After Brennan’s security clearance was revoked by President Trump — who ordered Brennan’s clearance stripped in July, a decision announced on Aug. 15 — Brennan complained and said, “It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) reported that former CIA official Sam Faddis told IPT, “Brennan’s protest is a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’” He pointed to the case of his former CIA colleague Sabrina de Sousa as a case in point. Faddis has known de Sousa for 30 years and is a 20-year CIA veteran.

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The Investigative Project on Terrorism further reported:

An Italian court convicted de Sousa in absentia in 2009 in connection with in the rendition of Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar. CIA operatives and an Italian military police officer kidnapped Abu Omar off a Milan street in February 2003. Prosecutors claimed was sent from Rome to Milan to plan the rendition.

De Sousa told the IPT last year that she had nothing to do with it and that the case against her is unfounded.

Abu Omar, the victim in this scenario, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via Twitter earlier this year that he believes in de Sousa’s innocence. She had to sue the Department of Justice to get Italian legal representation, which arrived too late to affect the outcome. U.S. and Italian state secrets prevented de Sousa from submitting evidence.

While the de Sousa case is unrelated to the president’s actions, people familiar with its details are pleased with the move. Brennan’s CIA left de Sousa hanging, a spokesman for the House Intelligence Committee said under condition of anonymity. This, Faddis said, typifies Brennan’s values.

“You ask people to go down range and do difficult and dangerous things. They agree out of patriotism. Whatever word you want to use, and they don’t make a lot of money. That obligation is not supposed to run one way,” Faddis said. “There is supposed to be just as solid of an oath back, that we will never forget you. That we will never cut you away.

“I think we have gotten to the point where those like Brennan have forgotten that entirely.”

Documents related to de Sousa’s case were over-classified to preserve the cover-up of the rendition, she told the IPT. Documents in the Abu Omar case, as well as de Sousa’s CIA employment, are subject to the “Glomar response” in which the CIA will “neither confirm nor deny” the existence of the Abu Omar rendition or de Sousa herself. CIA operating procedure calls for disavowing knowledge of those involved in compromised operations. Even House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., ran into a “brick wall” trying to find out what happened in her case, a knowledgeable U.S. government source said.

De Sousa blames Brennan for her spending 10 days in a Portuguese prison last year. Brennan twice visited Portugal in 2016, Portuguese intelligence sources said. Her case allegedly was discussed during Brennan’s second trip in November 2016, but Brennan did nothing to push back against the European arrest warrant against her.

“Certainly, the smell of it is that Brennan gave the go ahead on behalf of the Obama administration for her to be [cut loose] … I can only imagine from my experience with the Portuguese, they were probably hoping we would provide them with some sort of a mechanism to handover somebody who’s an American intelligence officer to Italian authorities,” Faddis said. “It sure smells like we’re not lifting a finger.”

In 2014, U.S. officials drew up a list of names of those convicted in the Abu Omar rendition to be presented to the Italian government for full pardons. De Sousa’s name was not included. Italian President Sergio Mattarella granted full pardons to one other CIA officer and one U.S. military officer. Faddis blamed Brennan, based on his knowledge of how the CIA operates. Why de Sousa was hung out to dry while others were spared is not publicly known.

“One of the things that also baffles me about John Brennan standing up as a talking head – name a show – is what is your record of accomplishment that establishes a foundation for why I should listen to anything you have to say?” Faddis asked. “Across the board, he’s an abject failure as a CIA director.

“Now, we’re supposed to give into his judgement. I have no idea why.”

Brennan’s ideas about Iran and Hizballah were consistently discredited.

He promoted an appeasement strategy toward Iran and Hizballah before joining the Obama administration in 2009.

Read more at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

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