John Brennan, the Director of the CIA, attended a gathering at Kilteevan, Co Roscommon in Ireland this week. He accompanied his brother Tom and 93-year-old father Owen at this special homecoming event for people from the village and those who had left it to go elsewhere.
The team organizing the event first wrote to Brennan in January but heard nothing from him. They assumed he wasn’t coming until they heard from his office on July 24th that he had accepted the invitation. “We couldn’t believe it. Everybody thought it wasn’t possible. Isn’t a father coming home with his two sons the essence of what the Gathering is about?”, said Eileen Fahey, chairperson of the Kilteevan Community Development Group.
There was a social which was attended by several hundred people in the Kilteevan community center which used to be the local Catholic church. It is the building in which Owen Brennan was baptized on April 9th, 1920. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1948 and married an American woman. Their son, John Brennan, was born in New Jersey and eventually was appointed director of the CIA in March by President Obama. Brennan's impressive record as the head of homeland security and counterterrorism were the reasons for the presidential appointment to the CIA.
I'll always remember the famous photograph of President Obama and his White House staff watching the operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Brennan was among them.
Speaking in Kilteevan, Mr. Brennan said he and his family were part of the “great Irish diaspora”. He told how his father had passed down to his family the strong values of “family, community, love of nation and love of God.”
Personally, I think Americans have a great person leading the CIA. Brennan advised Obama on foreign policy and intelligence issues during the 2008 presidential campaign and actually withdrew his name from consideration for Director of the CIA in the first Obama administration over concerns about his support for the use of torture by the CIA under President George W. Bush. Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.
Yes, I reiterate! Brennan will leave a legacy at the CIA and I hope his tenure there is a long one. His 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as a station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. After leaving government service in 2005, Brennan became CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals.
Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of.