A Forceful Voice on Obama's Security Team

Counterterror Adviser John Brennan: A Forceful Voice on Obama's Security Team - Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post.

When President Obama wanted an investigation into the intelligence failures that led to the attempted airline attack on Christmas Day, he turned to the man who has emerged as one of his most trusted advisers: John O. Brennan. Within two weeks, Brennan had produced a sharply written report that caught other intelligence heads by surprise -- and caused an uproar in some quarters for its harsh assessment of intelligence agencies' performance. Moreover, Brennan showed the final draft to his colleagues just hours before it was to be made public, a move that his critics said was an example of his tendency to exert tight control.

Eventually, one of the casualties of the report would be Adm. Dennis C. Blair, who was forced out as director of national intelligence last month. But the report and its aftermath also demonstrated the skillful maneuvering of Brennan, who after being forced to withdraw from consideration for CIA director in 2008 has transformed his role into that of the president's closest intelligence adviser. His dominance complicated efforts to find a new director of intelligence: Who would want the job if Brennan is already doing it? ...

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