Two key national security nominations by President Obama are up for confirmation following Congress' recess this week: former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, and John O. Brennan, the president's key counterterrorism adviser, to be the director of the CIA. Both candidates have had to address issues based on their past and current activities and associations. Troublingly, a number of questions still remain unanswered.
One explosive issue is a report by John Guandolo that broke last week on Tom Trento's "TrentoVision Show" and also was carried by Glenn Beck on Feb. 11. The report stated that Mr. Brennan was converted to Islam while CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia from 1996 to '99. Let's be clear: In America, a man's religion can never be a condition to his holding a government position. It is protected by both the First Amendment and Article 6 of the Constitution. Therefore, even if it is true that he converted, Mr. Brennan's religion should not be an issue.
However, according to Mr. Guandolo — a former SWAT team leader at the FBI, counterterrorism and Muslim Brotherhood specialist and Marine platoon commander — what should be an issue was the Saudis' targeted recruitment of Mr. Brennan to the ideology of Islam while he was serving as the CIA station chief in Riyadh. This was not just a conversion but a political act by a foreign intelligence service.