President Obama is partly to blame for Rand Paul’s filibuster of CIA director-to-be John O. Brennan.
Here is why: Obama inherited a difficult and complex counter-terrorism strike policy from President Bush and amped it up by a factor of about four. He promised more transparency, and not just to the intelligence committees, but to the public. And had he not promised transparency, the urgent global reach of lethal U.S. counter-terrorism assets requires it as a matter of legitimacy.
But absent an opaque speech from the attorney general, a cautious memorandum that left more questions than it answered (a memo that was strategically leaked way too late for it to mollify critics), and another Obama promise of more transparency, the national security establishment has wrapped itself in the familiar and comforting cloak of secrecy.