And, if Brennan will listen, remind him of when his high school teachers, the Irish Christian Brothers, taught him the meaning of "handwriting on the wall" in the Book of Daniel and why it became an idiom for predetermined, imminent doom.
CBS senior correspondent John Miller, who before joining CBS served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, broke the handwritten-note story
Thursday on CBS This Morning
. He described what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev scribbled on the side of the boat as he lay bleeding "from multiple gunshot wounds" in the boat. Here, according to Miller's sources, is what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's note said:
"The [Boston] bombings were in retribution for the U.S. crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan [and] that the victims of the Boston bombing were collateral damage, in the same way innocent victims have been collateral damage in U.S. wars around the world. Summing up, that when you attack one Muslim you attack all Muslims."
My experience with now-CBS-This-Morning's Charlie Rose is that he does listen closely. Thus, I believe it is to his credit that he seemed determined, with his follow-up question, to drive home what I think is by far the most important point:
Co-anchor Charlie Rose: "Does it [the note] answer questions about motives?"
Miller: "Well it does ... there it is in black and white -- literally."
Co-anchor Norah O'Donnell: "But they still believe he was self-radicalized and not part of a larger group, right?"
Miller: "That's right. ..."
Note to CIA Director Brennan
If you didn't understand much about such motives three years ago, after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to down an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, here's a chance to learn. I actually felt embarrassed for you when you -- then-White House counter-terrorism adviser -- were asked on Jan. 7, 2010, two weeks after the almost-catastrophe over Detroit, to explain why people want to kill Americans. I'm sure you remember; it turned out to be Helen Thomas's swan song.
It took the questioning of the then-89-year old veteran correspondent Thomas to show how little you were willing to share (or how little you knew) about what leads terrorists to do what they do. As her catatonic White House press colleagues took their customary dictation, Thomas posed an adult query that spotlighted the futility of government plans to counter terrorism with more high-tech gizmos and intrusions on the liberties and privacy of the traveling public.
She asked why Abdulmutallab did what he did: "And what is the motivation? We never hear what you find out on why." It was a highly revealing dialogue; this is how it went. Remember?
You: "Al-Qaeda is an organization that is dedicated to murder and wanton slaughter of innocents. ... They attract individuals like Mr. Abdulmutallab and use them for these types of attacks. He was motivated by a sense of religious sort of drive. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has perverted Islam, and has corrupted the concept of Islam, so that he's (sic) able to attract these individuals. But al-Qaeda has the agenda of destruction and death."
Thomas: "And you're saying it's because of religion?"
You: "I'm saying it's because of an al-Qaeda organization that used the banner of religion in a very perverse and corrupt way."
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You: "I think this is a -- long issue, but al-Qaeda is just determined to carry out attacks here against the homeland."
Thomas: "But you haven't explained why."
Actually, there is a ton of information explaining why people try, for example, to explode bombs in Times Square, in airliners over Detroit, in remote CIA outposts in Afghanistan just to kill Americans, even when it means killing themselves. [See, for example, Consortiumnews.com's "Answering Helen Thomas on Why."]
It was painful to watch you suggest on Jan. 7, 2010, that, apparently in some mysterious way, some folks are hard-wired at birth for the "wanton slaughter of innocents," and your contention that -- in the case of Abdulmutallab -- al-Qaeda/Persian Gulf was able to jump-start that privileged 23-year old Nigerian, inculcate in him the acquired characteristics of a terrorist, and persuade him to do the bidding of al-Qaeda/Persian Gulf.