King: Brennan should be fired
February 14, 2010
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, is calling for the resignation — or immediate firing — of Obama adviser John Brennan.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also called for Brennan's head, telling FOX News Sunday that the adviser "has lost my confidence."
King tells me that Brennan's downplaying, on Saturday, of the 20 percent recidivism rate at Gitmo was the final straw.
"I strongly believe that John Brennan ought to resign immediately or be fired because of his incompetence and inability to do his job. Any homeland security adviser who can't tell the difference between a terrorist and a shoplifter doesn't belong in office," King said.
King, who also wants Brennan to testify before the committee, called him a "wiseguy who tries to get cute."
A White House spokesman didn't want to get into a back-and-forth with King, a Rudy Giuliani ally who been poking the administration as soft on terror for weeks.
Brennan, speaking at NYU Law School on Saturday, lamented the fact that a handful of Gitmo combatants returned to the battlefield, but he also compared the recidivism rate (itself a law enforcement term) to that of common criminals, which played into King's larger argument.
"People sometimes use that figure, 20 percent, say 'Oh my goodness, one out of five detainees returned to some type of extremist activity,'" Brennan said. "You know, the American penal system, the recidivism rate is up to something about 50 percent or so, as far as return to crime. Twenty percent isn't that bad."
But Brennan hardly minimized the risk, adding, "Many of these detainees have returned, have engaged not just extremism, but terrorist attacks. It is something that we have to look at very carefully."