Former CIA Director John Brennan Seems to Confirm DAESH Rumors

On Black Friday, former CIA director under the Obama Administration and early on in the Trump Administration, John Brennan expressed his disgust with the extralegal murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist for Iran across three tweets on Twitter. The attack is believed to have been orchestrated by Israel and suspected to have been given a green light by Donald Trump himself. It wouldn’t be the first time as Trump approved of the Saudi Arabian murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside their embassy in Istanbul in 2018.

Throughout his first two tweets, Brennan is completely in the right: extralegal murders are certainly serious violations of international law and violations of the sovereignty of the state with jurisdiction over the murder site. Notably, this was the murder of a non-combatant, which wouldn’t be legal even in a time of war. You simply are not allowed to murder anyone under the jurisdiction of a foreign sovereign state without that state’s permission to do so.

However, Brennan’s final tweet in the chain is quite disconcerting. In this tweet, he tries to differentiate between extralegal murders performed by the Obama Administration and this one, to little avail. The extralegal murders performed under Obama were war crimes, pure and simple, especially without the permission of the sovereign states upon whose land they were performed. Obama even had a US citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, murdered without trial, overseas, because of the words that he spoke, protected under the first amendment of the United States’ constitution – and yes those protections also limit what the US government is allowed to do outside of the US’ borders. Certainly attacking people who are not a sovereign state is still a violation of international law.

Most alarming is his suggestion that the “Islamic State,” also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but only properly referred to as DAESH – it’s Arabic acronym anglocized, is not a sovereign state. The designation of a sovereign state is one made objectively, without being bound by subjective values. A sovereign is simply: “the unruled ruler,” or the highest entity in a hierarchy. That is the concise, simple, political science definition of the word. A state is a formal group that holds this sovereignty over a defined area. DAESH is clearly a state in political science as it has a defined area, though some borders may be rapidly changing, who is exercising any sovereignty it may have over that defined area. It has a name, an organization, and even a flag – it is a formal organization. However, is it truly sovereign? If not, then it is neither sovereign nor a state, and certainly not a sovereign state.

The issue at hand is a lot of inconclusive but potentially damning evidence that DAESH is not what it says it is, but rather a puppet government created by Israel and Western powers, most likely of which to be involved is the United States. If it is, then it is not sovereign as it is ruled by these powers – it is a ruled ruler like the state of New York or the state of Florida, not an unruled ruler like The United States or Sweden. The accusation was first made by Alexander Prokhanov in 2014.

The most obvious hint at DAESH being a puppet government is that it alleges to be formed by native Arabic speakers to create an Islamic caliphate, declaring sovereignty over all Muslims worldwide. It seems odd then that they wouldn’t have realized that their Arabic acronym would be DAESH, which also derogatively translates as a religious bigot who forces his beliefs on others. No, this isn’t tongue in cheek – they threaten to cut out the tongue of anyone who refers to them as DAESH. That seems extremely odd – and suggestive that they were named by non-Arabic speakers who wanted to go with the name ISIS, thinking of the Egyptian goddess who was actually named Aset. In reality, ISIS only really refers to one organization: the International Secret Intelligence Service that appears in the FX series Archer.

In 2019, Israel admitted to working to train DAESH fighters in Syria years before. There was previous talk about an Israeli colonel named Yusi Oulen Shahak being embedded with DAESH soldiers in 2015, but not from credible sources. However, the 2019 confession did make national news in Israel. It also would not be a unique action for Israel, who created their own nemesis, Hamas, to discredit the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1980s.

Given that Brennan was making a deliberate statement trying to distinguish the extralegal murders he had a hand in from the current extralegal murder, it is not reasonable to accept this as a temporary poor use of words. The realistic options are 1) that he completely lacks knowledge on the subject and was thus unqualified for his position; or 2) that he knows that DAESH is not sovereign because either the US had a hand in, or was aware of, the creation of DAESH as a puppet government. Given the implications, including the massive death toll of civilians under DAESH rule, world leaders need to demand answers from Brennan about what he knows. Media in the US and overseas should be hounding him for answers on this – because a huge scandal seems to be underfoot.

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Featured Image taken from BBC. Fair Use.

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