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Speaking in June 2011 about how the Obama administration would deal with terrorism following the recent death of Osama bin Laden, Brennan dismissed any notion that Islamic terrorists might attempt to build a caliphate in the Middle East.
"Our strategy is shaped by a deeper understanding of al-Qaeda’s goals, strategy and tactics that we have gained over the last decade," said Brennan.
Also during his NYU speech, Brennan referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, “Al-Quds”; stated that the 20% recidivism rate of former Guantanamo detainees “isn't that bad” when compared to criminal recidivism trends generally; asserted that "while poverty and lack of opportunity do not cause terrorism, it is obvious that the lack of education, of basic human services and hope for the future make vulnerable populations more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death"; and called Hezbollah “a very interesting organization” whose “more moderate elements” the U. should strive to “build up.” Three months later, Brennan again said the Obama administration was trying to establish a positive relationship with “moderate elements” of Hezbollah.
Around the time of his NYU speech in 2010, Brennan met privately with the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam al-Marayati, who views Hamas and Hezbollah as political and "educational" organizations that engage in "legitimate resistance." After the meeting, MPAC claimed credit for the Obama administration's decision to, as MPAC put it: "rejec[t] the label of 'jihadist' to describe terrorists, because it legitimates violent extremism with religious validation, a point MPAC made in its 2003 policy paper on counterterrorism." When reporter Patrick Poole in September 2010 revealed that under Brennan's watch, a known, high-level Hamas official in the U. had received a guided tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, several former intelligence and defense officials called for Brennan to resign.
He also chaired the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
immunity, because they were told to [participate] by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context.” Brennan also supported “enhanced interrogation” techniques and described “extraordinary rendition” as “an absolutely vital tool” that “without a doubt has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives.” in a 2007 interview with CBS News, Brennan stated that waterboarding in particular was a highly useful practice: “There has been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency [CIA] has, in fact, used against the real hard-core terrorists.