In ‘Undaunted,’ Former CIA Chief John Brennan Says The Danger To U.S. Is At House : NPR


Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Might 23, 2017, earlier than the Home Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Activity Pressure.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Might 23, 2017, earlier than the Home Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Activity Pressure.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

John Brennan stepped down as CIA director the very second Donald Trump was being sworn-in as president – midday on Jan. 20, 2017.

The following day, Trump visited CIA headquarters and spoke in regards to the dimension of his inauguration crowd whereas standing in entrance of the company’s Memorial Wall, that includes a star for every CIA worker killed within the line of responsibility.

Undaunted: My Battle Towards America’s Enemies, At House and Overseas, by John O. Brennan

Celadon Books

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Celadon Books

“I could not take it anymore. I felt bodily nauseated watching and listening to him,” Brennan writes in his new memoir Undaunted: My Battle Towards America’s Enemies, At House And Overseas. Brennan left house for the health club to blow off steam, solely to see Trump’s remarks repeated on the tv screens as he rode a stationary bike.

At some point out of workplace, and whereas nonetheless pedaling on the health club, Brennan texted a former aide with a public assertion: “Former Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable show of self-aggrandizement in entrance of CIA’s Memorial Wall of company heroes. He ought to be ashamed of himself.”

Since then, Brennan has assailed Trump continuous on Twitter, cable TV, in newspaper op-eds and now in his e-book.

Gone are the times when nationwide safety chiefs quietly retired and maybe wrote a discreet e-book a number of years later recounting their years of service in understated tones. Nationwide safety leaders, together with former CIA administrators, are as outspoken as anybody within the post-9/11 period, and Brennan is probably the most outspoken of all.

In his personal phrases, Brennan is a hot-tempered, working-class, Irish-Catholic child from New Jersey. He by no means runs in need of vitriol, and whereas Trump is the primary goal, there are lots of extra. Brennan additionally takes swipes at his successor as CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, whom he describes as “placing loyalty to Donald Trump above dedication to nation.”

Brennan additionally notes that Pompeo did not invite him to the CIA Christmas social gathering.

Insider accounts

So Brennan dishes the gossip and affords sturdy, detailed, insider accounts of essential occasions, like how al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was tracked down and the way drone strikes have been carried out.

There are private revelations: Earlier than becoming a member of the CIA, he wore a diamond earring, smoked his share of cannabis in Cairo and voted for the Communist Celebration candidate for president, Gus Corridor, in 1976. He fancied himself a personality out of Simple Rider (Jack Nicholson? Peter Fonda? Dennis Hopper?) and rode his Yamaha motorbike to work in his early days on the company.

That is all great things. But one thing essential is lacking right here — the large image.

Brennan spent practically 30 years on the company, from entry-level trainee to director. There could also be no different American who held extra high-level nationwide safety positions throughout a very powerful occasions of the previous twenty years — the 9/11 assaults, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS, and the Russia interference within the 2016 election.

But Brennan, who spent his early years as an intelligence analyst, offers comparatively little evaluation of how these dramas have reshaped U.S. nationwide safety and what lies forward.

What’s his takeaway from the lengthy wars within the Center East, the area he studied most intently? How ought to Washington deal with the continued provocations of Russian chief Vladimir Putin? How has the U.S. ready to cope with a rising China?

These elementary questions go unaddressed as Brennan opts for a small-bore strategy.

CIA interrogations

He does sort out robust points just like the CIA’s abusive therapy of al-Qaida suspects.

“I vividly keep in mind studying the sordid particulars for the primary time in August 2002, once I learn in regards to the interrogation and waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah,” writes Brennan, the company’s deputy government director on the time.

“The outline of the interrogation session was graphic and abdomen turning,” he provides. “It recounted the repeated waterboarding functions and the way Abu Zubaydah continuously gagged and threw up.”

Abu Zubaydah was the primary essential terror suspect detained after the 9/11 assaults, and was finally waterboarded 83 occasions. He is held at Guantanamo Bay and has but to go on trial.

Brennan stated after studying that first report, he walked to the CIA car parking zone and lit up a cigarette. “My God,” he thought, “what are we doing?”

He raised this with then CIA Director George Tenant that night, however did not press the problem. Brennan says he was indirectly concerned within the interrogation program, however chastises himself for not doing extra to cease it.

He would not sound keen on CIA Director Gina Haspel. He mentions that he handed Haspel over for a prime job when he was director, and says he was “very disillusioned” when she did not reply to his letter this previous January in search of entry to CIA data when writing his e-book.

Haspel, who has maintained an especially low profile, even by CIA requirements, is among the few senior nationwide safety figures who has remained in place for your entire Trump administration.

However Brennan would not say whether or not Haspel has been in a position to do her job successfully whereas coping with a president who has repeatedly ignored or rejected intelligence the company has introduced to him about Russia.

Brennan is a fan of Joe Biden: “I had a really shut relationship with him once I served on the White Home [as the counterrorism advisor] and as director of the CIA,” Brennan writes. “His huge expertise on nationwide safety points … made him one of the vital energetic individuals within the numerous conferences we attended collectively.”

Brennan is at his finest when he shares his entry to locations like Saudi Arabia, the place he was stationed twice and developed relationships with key figures within the authorities and the royal household. He confidently assesses that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, generally known as MBS, was behind the killing of Washington Publish journalist and Saudi nationwide Jamal Kashoggi on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018:

“Primarily based on every part I’ve discovered over the previous forty years about Saudi intelligence and safety companies and the way in which the Saudi authorities operates, I’m sure that such an audacious operation occurring inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in opposition to a high-profile journalist working for a U.S. newspaper would have required the direct authorization of Saudi Arabia’s prime management. Nothing in King Salman’s background suggests he would have approved the homicide; MBS’s background does.”

However too usually he returns to inside-the-Beltway political battles and his now repetitive assaults on Trump. As he concludes:

“I sorely want that I had by no means felt compelled to talk out as vociferously as I’ve in opposition to a sitting president of the US. It has given me no pleasure to take action. However, so long as Mr. Trump continues to trample the tenets of our democracy, deceive the American individuals, denigrate the workplace of the presidency, endanger our nationwide safety, and sully our repute all over the world, I can’t relent in my criticism of him.”

That is the bottom he covers commonly in his tweets.

Greg Myre is an NPR nationwide safety correspondent. Comply with him @gregmyre1.


Jenny Holzer App to Deliver ‘Nice Books’ House


For many years, the artist Jenny Holzer has projected phrases — usually borrowed sayings — on surfaces comparable to constructing facades, ocean waves and mountains. However her new challenge, known as “You Be My Ally” after a line by Sappho, consists of her first smartphone app designed to let customers at house superimpose some loaded quotes on their very own environment.

Commissioned by the College of Chicago, the challenge makes use of 29 quotes from authors in its Core Curriculum or “nice books” program, chosen in collaboration with college students. A lot of the quotes come from feminine authors. Many contact on weighty, additionally well timed, points like justice, reality and violence — together with “The Reason behind Battle Is Preparation for Battle” (W.E.B. Du Bois) and “You Sit Among the many Ruins and Lament the Fall” (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley).

“You may have the content material anytime and anyplace you need,” Ms. Holzer stated. “Should you’re awake within the wee hours of the morning fretting, you may have Plato or Toni Morrison in your room.”

The challenge additionally has robust ties to the College of Chicago campus. When the app, which is free, is launched on Monday, vans with LED lights will drive via the town displaying most of the sayings. Quotes throughout the app are initially set to scroll over campus buildings, with solely the challenge title (from Sappho as translated by Anne Carson) additionally accessible for customers to position anyplace inside their cellphone’s camera-view. On Oct. 30, all quotes will turn into obtainable for customers to nearly challenge wherever they need utilizing augmented actuality expertise.

Ms. Holzer, who attended the College of Chicago from 1970 to 1971, stated the concept for “You Be My Ally” took maintain after she obtained the varsity’s Rosenberger medal of accomplishment final yr. “I’m previous and bored with myself,” she stated, including that she was curious “what the scholars would discover most partaking from the Core Curriculum.” Her position was “sifting” and shortening texts. Initially she thought-about making a lightweight projection “however Covid got here marching in, and we thought it could not be good to ask individuals to face round collectively.”

The lighted vans, for his or her half, will return to Chicago streets on Oct. 24 and 30 to unfold get-out-the-vote messages written by College of Chicago college students. These slogans usually are not as partisan as a few of Holzer’s work, like her latest “Covid-19 President” LED show, however nonetheless pointed. One says “Pleased?” One other: “Vote As a result of They Don’t Need You To.”


Dad and mom sue Louisiana faculty district after 4th grader suspended for BB gun throughout digital class at dwelling


The lawsuit filed Friday in opposition to the Jefferson Parish College Board and officers on behalf of the household of Ka’Mauri Harrison seeks damages of at the very least $50,000 for “psychological ache, struggling, anguish and embarrassment, humiliation and lack of shallowness, future counseling and tutoring and misplaced earnings,” the lawsuit stated.

The kid, 9, was suspended after a trainer noticed what turned out to be a BB gun in his display screen throughout digital class final month. The college board throughout a September 22 listening to discovered Ka’Mauri “responsible of displaying a facsimile weapon whereas receiving digital instruction from Woodmere Elementary College,” in keeping with the lawsuit.
New CDC guidelines come down hard in favor of opening schools

Jefferson Parish Faculties informed CNN, “We don’t touch upon particular person pupil information. Concerning self-discipline, it’s our coverage that academics and directors might make use of cheap disciplinary and corrective measures to take care of order,” the identical assertion offered final month.

Household legal professional Chelsea Cusimano stated earlier that college officers went too far — making use of its on-campus weapons coverage with out contemplating the privateness of the kid and his household.

Throughout Ka’Mauri’s faculty district listening to on the matter, his father Nyron Harrison stated, “it is rather essential to the household that this be dismissed, that it doesn’t comply with him in his academic profession … the varsity didn’t comply with his due course of rights,” in keeping with the lawsuit.

Louisiana Lawyer Common Jeff Landry introduced final month his workplace was trying into the dealing with of the incident in reference to the investigation, they’ve change into conscious that “a number of different college students are experiencing the identical remedy by this and different faculty techniques,” and believes that the scholar’s constitutional rights enable for an enchantment, in keeping with a letter his workplace despatched to the varsity system on September 29.


$10,000 reward provided for data on a taking pictures at a Milwaukee funeral house


The incident occurred Wednesday round 12:45 p.m., in line with the Milwaukee Police Division, when a shooter opened hearth at Serenity Funeral House in Milwaukee.

A preliminary investigation revealed the taking pictures was a part of an ongoing feud between two events, police stated in a press release. The victims have been three girls, ages 24, 26 and 48, and 4 males, ages 20, 24, 26 and 29. All have been hospitalized and reported to be in steady situation, police stated.

The investigation is energetic and ongoing, police stated. They weren’t in a position to present any additional updates.


A household of seven misplaced their dwelling in Washington’s wildfires. Then all of them acquired Covid-19


They’ve now quarantined themselves in two lodge rooms in Spokane Valley, the place they’re recovering and attempting to plan their futures.

The Grahams misplaced their dwelling, a barn and outbuildings the place they saved issues they weren’t utilizing, particular child garments and different household mementos. Their canine was OK and their rooster coop was additionally spared, although a few of the birds’ feathers might have been singed.

“We had been planning to come back again that evening, so we did not pack a single factor,” Jessica mentioned.

They stayed with household after the fireplace and assume that is how they had been uncovered to the coronavirus — Jessica’s dad had flu-like signs and Matthew’s mother examined optimistic on September 20 after she’d babysat the kids.

“We had been beginning to expertise signs at the moment that we had been hoping was simply resulting from hazardous air high quality,” Jessica mentioned. “However then that had gone away and we had been getting worse as a substitute of higher.”

Neither of their dad and mom needed to be hospitalized, however Matthew’s mother did have pneumonia in each lungs.

Jessica and Matthew have felt exhausted however assume they’re on the best way to restoration.

The youngsters, Constantine “Costa,” 12, Claudia, 10, 7-year-old twins Adele and Zoe, and 5-year-old Darius, have fared significantly better. Jessica mentioned they’ve often felt feverish however could be higher the following day.

“They’re bouncing off the partitions, however we’re so grateful that they are wholesome sufficient to bounce off the partitions,” Matthew mentioned.

The Glass and Zogg Fires are less than 10% contained and threaten even more destruction
He mentioned the group has been extremely beneficiant and given the household toys, board video games and garments for the entire household. A GoFundMe marketing campaign for the household has raised greater than $21,000.

Jessica mentioned rental houses are exhausting to search out within the space, however they hope to discover a extra everlasting place to remain as soon as they get out of quarantine in just a few days.

She mentioned they’d like to remain locally and are contemplating shopping for a brand new home or rebuilding “this superb new home” on their property.

“That is what retains us optimistic,” she mentioned. “We all know a type of two outcomes goes to occur and we’re gonna simply have one thing that is even higher than what we had earlier than.”


Seven individuals shot at Milwaukee funeral residence, police say


“At roughly 12:45 p.m., Milwaukee police have been dispatched to a capturing on the 4200 block of West Fond Du Lac Ave,” performing Milwaukee Police Division Chief Michael Brunson stated in a information convention.

“Upon arrival, officers and personnel positioned seven capturing victims right here at that location.”

The female and male victims are between the ages of 24 and 48 years previous, in response to Brunson.

“The victims have been transported to an area hospital the place they’re being handled for his or her accidents,” he added. “Proper now, all of them are in steady situation.”

Police stated they’re nonetheless investigating the incident and looking for an unknown suspect.


California firefighter finishes 60-hour shift after which rushes to assist save his girlfriend’s mother and father’ dwelling


She was having Sunday dinner along with her mother and father, John and Ardys Jones, at their home in Santa Rosa after they bought the order to evacuate, Newnom mentioned.

They had been taking part in board video games and playing cards when “all their telephones went off at the very same time,” he mentioned.

“They appeared exterior and so they might really see the glow,” Newnom mentioned.

CalFire mentioned Tuesday the Glass Fireplace was 0% contained and has destroyed 80 properties and dozens of minor constructions.

Newnom mentioned his regular 48-hour shift was prolonged to assist out as a result of so many firefighters are battling the wildfires raging in Northern California.

Resident describes giant chunks of ash falling across the Bay Area

He had his firefighting gear in his automotive, so he drove straight to her mother and father’ home, which was about 1.5 hours away.

When he bought there, Newnom began shifting the woodpile, particles and different flammable supplies away from the home and used his chainsaw to chop down timber that might threaten the house.

“I wasn’t planning on sticking round and going through the entrance of the fireplace on my own,” Newnom mentioned.

He was about to depart when a Santa Rosa Fireplace truck arrived on the scene.

Newnom mentioned the home has a big driveway, making it one of many final locations on the highway with sufficient house for a firetruck might flip round if the firefighters wanted to flee in a rush.

The fireplace captain advised him “if that is your girlfriend’s household dwelling then then that is the place we’re gonna stand and struggle.”

The firefighters set out their hoses and began preventing again the fireplace, which crept to inside a number of ft of the house.

Newnom mentioned the home needs to be secure now that the fireplace has burned by way of.

“The home is on an island of burnt moonscape,” he mentioned.

Many properties within the space weren’t as fortunate. Newnom noticed a variety of burning constructions close to the home.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Monday evening for Napa and Sonoma counties due to the Glass Fireplace and in Shasta County, the place the Zogg Fireplace has burned not less than 40,000 acres and killed not less than three individuals.
This fireplace season has produced 5 of six largest wildfires in California’s historical past.

CNN’s Stella Chan contributed to this story.


Instructor will get her youngsters prepared for in-person college, however she has to remain residence


He’ll be one of many hundreds of kids within the nation’s largest college district capable of get in-person education as soon as once more in buildings which have been shuttered within the pandemic.

He and his little sister Zoe, 2, have gotten used to sanitizing their fingers and sporting their masks correctly and so they’re anxious to get into the classroom, even when their mother and father are extra hesitant.

“My son mentioned, ‘Don’t fret, mommy. If I’ve to, I will let you recognize if individuals aren’t following the principles,'” Melody Anastsiou mentioned. “I used to be so thrilled that I used to be capable of even get my 2-year-old to put on her masks so vigilantly and to maintain her fingers so clear.”

That vigilance is particularly essential as Melody Anastsiou suffers from autoimmune issues that can maintain her and her husband Orestes, each lecturers, out of their school rooms.

“For many of my educating profession, I handled many attention-grabbing situations, from autoimmune hypothyroidism to fibromyalgia,” she mentioned. “A yr in the past, I used to be identified with rheumatoid arthritis and that made issues very, very tough as a result of the remedy for these kind of autoimmune ailments are typically some type of treatment that suppresses your immune system.” She added: “I stay in a state of worry over one thing so simple as a chilly.”

That worry, for herself and for different educators and college students, has Anastsiou questioning the logic of reopening colleges for in-person instruction now.

“The choice that the town made in forcing this very giant college system to return to regular is like forcing a sq. peg right into a spherical gap,” she mentioned.

“I feel that if the entire metropolis agreed to remain distant for now, like different giant college methods have determined … I feel that might have been a safer option to go.”

New York below scrutiny

A lot of the nation’s different largest college districts — from Los Angeles to Chicago and Houston — have began the brand new college yr on-line solely. Amongst people who have opened their school rooms, there have been outbreaks of coronavirus which have despatched hundreds of scholars and lecturers into quarantine and even pressured the short-term closure of some colleges.
Map: The place colleges are reopening within the US

New York Metropolis’s charge of optimistic coronavirus checks hovers at about 1%, among the many lowest within the nation. It’s providing all on-line instruction in addition to one to 3 days every week of in-school studying as choices to its greater than 1.1 million college students.

The deliberate first day of faculty has been pushed again a number of occasions to resolve disputes with unions representing among the metropolis’s 75,000 schoolteachers in addition to to ensure colleges had correct air flow, Covid testing and protecting tools.

There’ll now be a Covid scenario room to observe testing and phone tracing and a further 4,500 lecturers are being rent.

Some 90,000 preschoolers and college students with particular wants resumed face-to-face instruction within the metropolis final week and Mayor Invoice de Blasio insists he is taking the correct path to open colleges.

“If we wished to take the simple manner and cheat our children, we may have gone all distant a very long time in the past,” de Blasio mentioned.

Anastsiou continues to be hesitant to ship her youngsters to high school for many of the week, particularly with each her and her husband certified to do business from home due to her medical situation.

“There’s an excessive quantity of guilt, I feel any mum or dad may perceive that,” she instructed CNN.

And in an electronic mail after her interview, she wrote: “I’ll all the time ship them off to high school stuffed with concern but additionally with the hope that I’ve carried out sufficient and taught them sufficient to arrange and defend them.

“Regardless that my husband and I are in danger after we ship them out and so they return, the irony will not be misplaced on me that my youngsters should attend some in individual studying in order that we will do our job nicely.”


A Marine veteran’s army medals had been stolen from his dwelling. Detectives on the case changed them


However a housebreaking on the veteran’s dwelling final 12 months resulted within the lack of tens of 1000’s of {dollars}’ price of things — together with his army medals, ribbons and pilot’s wings, in keeping with the sheriff’s workplace in Spotsylvania, Virginia.
The loss hit dwelling with Det. Frank Corona, who labored on the case, as a result of he additionally served within the Marines. Corona rapidly recognized suspects within the housebreaking instances and recovered a number of of the stolen gadgets at native pawn retailers, in keeping with the sheriff’s workplace.

Whereas he wasn’t in a position to recuperate the unique army keepsakes, Corona and his supervisor, additionally a Marine, had been in a position to get them changed by an organization in South Carolina, the sheriff’s workplace stated.

Friday, days earlier than Faleskie’s 84th birthday, the detectives gave him particular shock. They offered Faleskie, who served from 1958 to 1982, with a shadowbox displaying replacements for all of the army service medals, ribbons and pilot’s wings that had been taken from him.

The shadowbox contained replacements of his medals, ribbons and pilot's wings.
“I am nonetheless in a state of shock as a result of I by no means anticipated this, and I nonetheless cannot imagine it occurred, however I am very blissful,” Faleskie advised CNN affiliate WJLA.

“Normally that is what you anticipate from a fellow Marine, is complete assist and a bond of friendship,” Faleskie stated.

The ceremony to current the medals befell exterior the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Workplace. Fellow Marines from an area veterans’ group attended.

Three individuals had been arrested in connection to the housebreaking and pleaded responsible to housebreaking and grand larceny prices, the sheriff’s workplace stated.


George Atiyeh: Oregon environmentalist’s stays discovered after Beachie Creek Fireplace destroyed his dwelling


Atiyeh, 72, was final seen on September 7 earlier than the Beachie Creek Fireplace exploded throughout in a single day hours within the space the place his dwelling was positioned.

“The Atiyeh household has acquired affirmation from the Marion County Sheriff’s workplace, that the stays discovered on George Atiyeh’s property, was in truth him,” Aniese Mitchell, Atiyeh’s daughter, posted on Fb late Friday evening.

Wildfires are ravaging the West coast.  Here's how you can help

Mitchell thanked mates, household and the neighborhood for his or her help throughout this time and requested that any donations made in her father’s honor be directed to Opal Creek Historic Forest Heart.

The Beachie Creek Fireplace started August 16 within the Opal Creek Wilderness, about 2 miles south of Jawbone Flats and 6 miles north of Detroit, Oregon, in line with the US Forest Service’s InciWeb system.

A windstorm September 7 reworked the fireplace in a single day from 469 acres to greater than 131,000 acres.

As of Saturday, the fireplace has burned greater than 192,000 acres and is 52% contained. it’s anticipated to be totally contained by October 31, the InciWeb system mentioned.

The Opal Creek Wilderness is a 20,000-acre refuge of steep and rugged forested hillsides boasting Douglas fir bushes, creeks, mountain peaks and lookouts, in line with the Forest Service.
The wilderness refuge was protected by federal laws in 1996 after activists, together with Atiyeh, pushed again towards plans to open the realm for logging.


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