New Administration "Moving in Laser Like Fashion" to Uncover "Even Libertarians" in "an Unholy Alliance"

So states former Obama Administration CIA Director John Brennan.


From his appearance on MSNBC yesterday (I quote from the transcript):

We are now looking forward that the members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed, are now moving in laser like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we've seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians.

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  1. The lack of BLM and Antifa can only mean that libertarians outnumber them.

    Whoohoo! We have arrived!

  2. The administration that reason wanted!

    This must be that “libertarian moment” they were talking about.

    1. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” — HL Mencken

      “And writers.” — Finrod

      1. And the Conspirators! Ferret out those libertarians and fire them!

    2. This is genuinely scary.

  3. John Brennan. Now THERE’S a guy we can trust to be honest.

  4. Enjoy, if you didn’t see this coming you were willfully blind.

  5. Seems about right. Eugene putting ‘Conspiracy’ in his website’s title was reverse psychology (reverse-reverse?? reverse-reverse-reverse????), and was merely part of his long con. Hiding in plain sight indeed.

    Nicely played, Eugene. Nicely played. But we’re on to you now.

  6. John Brennan always seemed like a man with multiple car batteries and rusty pliers in his basement.

  7. John Brennan should be in prison.

  8. Hedley Lamarr: I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, trainrobbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists

  9. Isn’t it illegal for the CIA to do domestic surveillance and intelligence gathering?

    Not that that’s stopped them in the past but shouldn’t they be at least a little circumspect?

    1. Many bills being proposed by Democrats that would give the government virtually unlimited spying rights against citizens. All in the name of wiping out those evil domestic terrorists (aka Republicans).

      1. Really. Please identify three of these “many bills.”

  10. So libertarians, you want Trump back now?

    1. Some of us always preferred him to the Democrat alternatives, because we recognized that this was the alternative.

      1. Indeed. Trump sucked, but the Democrat policies are more intolerable than his shitty personality.

        1. Amen. The most common objections to Trump always revolved around his mean tweets and boorish attitude. Ilya Somin even hinted that he was thiiiiis close to acknowledging that, when he said once of prime objections to Trump was spending too much, and something to the effect that Biden might not spend as much.

          Trump is an economic ignoramus and xenophobe, but he at least did do some things right, whereas I can’t think of anything Biden promised that could be considered better than Trump. Any so-called libertarian who couldn’t see past the inconsequential tweets and bad manners — the rude, crude, lewd and loud occupant — was just another TDS victim.

          Not that Reason writers’ failure to understand that flipped the key elections, but it sure was stupid. They that would surrender a little progress to get even less civility will get neither.

          1. For Ilya it was all about the open borders. He’s obsessive on that topic. He just couldn’t admit that that issue outweighed everything else.

            In general, Reason’s writers travel in the same media/social bubble the left does, and that has its effects over time. People are social creatures, it is NOT easy to oppose your social group, even if you do ideologically disagree with them.

            1. Quit with your telepathic nonsense.

              There’s plenty of reasons why a libertarian wouldn’t like Trump in addition to immigration policy. Prof. Somin mentioned those as well, but you seem to have missed those posts. Almost as though you’re the one with the obsession.

              And your bubble theory is also just telepathic rationalizing crap. Why not create a character like Ed’s Joe Sixpack to explain how Real Americans (not the 80M who voted wrong) think.

              1. You think there was actually 80 million votes for Biden? huh. I suppose that would color your vision of things.

                1. It’s the 80 million for Trump that this is directed at.

              2. This from someone who knows for a fact that Cutieswasn’t sexual exploitation of little girls because, in spite of having never seen it, he “read the synopsis”.

  11. An unholy alliance of authoritarians and libertarians? Is that everyone on the spectrum? Or is there some range near the middle – not too much authoritarian and not too much libertarian – that needn’t fear the government’s laser like… whatever it is he’s talking about?

    And what does all this make the government actors he’s talking about? Authoritarian, maybe?

  12. Unlike the last administration, there’s no need to make up stories about Biden going after law-abiding Americans. Brennan says it directly.

    On the other hand, Brennan is a known liar on many topics, so there’s zero reason to believe anything he says.

    Obama should be very ashamed of Brennan if Obama had good character.

  13. How can this be? Ilya Somin assured us that Biden was the lesser of two evils, because immigration!

    1. Brennan isn’t talking about targeting foreign nationals, only Americans. Do you think Ilya cares about targeting of Americans?

    2. Also because Biden had not yet promised to spend more than Trump.

  14. What, no link to the full transcript so we can see the context?

  15. Brennan authorized spying on a Senate oversight committee, and the perjured himself about it.

    After that, a few nativists and libertarians are small potatoes.

  16. The jews are cracking the whip, get in line or get in the boxcar, or maybe both, what purpose do U.S. citizens hold for the chosen ones? Nothing!! Exterminating the old guard just paves the way for advancement of the zionist agenda.

    1. Is this the best trolling Putin can manage? Sad.

  17. What position does Brennan hold in the Biden Administration?

    1. Moral support

    2. Same as Bernie, Lizzie, AOC, and the other cheerleaders.

      What position do you hold, second assistant deputy pants pisser?

  18. Does anyone have a link to the MSNBC transcript …. my searching is just finding reposts.

    1. Meghan McCain tweeted the clip from the MSNBC interview. Try searching for that. Oh, and Tucker played it on his show a few days ago.

  19. Relax, libertarians. He may have meant faux libertarians, not legitimate libertarians. Or “often libertarians,” not genuine libertarians.

    Also, recognize that Brennan was describing libertarians allied with religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, and nativists.

    And that Brennan’s current relationship to the government may consist entirely of collection pension payments. Which would make him less of a threat than the Gosars, Biggses, Boeberts, Cruzes, Hawleys, Gohmerts, and Greenes in our government.

    1. I think that’s right, and I rarely agree with you.

      But I do think it’s a bit sloppy language on Brennan’s part. First they came for the University of Chicago Economics Professors….

    2. Brennan was describing libertarians allied with religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, and nativists.

      Oh, well that’s OK then. Go ahead and put them all in “protective custody” already!

      1. No. What he explicitly referred to was libertarians “involved in insurgency movements.”

        1. Of course, “Insurgency movements” can cover a lot of ground, depending on who’s defining it. If a few dozen people breaking into the Capital is an “existential threat to Democracy”…

          1. You can continue to whine as much as you like, Jerry B, but you should focus on compliance with the preferences of better Americans. It will go easier for you that way.

        2. In a world where Antifa and BLM aren’t “insurgency movements” after massive riots, it’s clear that ‘insurgency movement’ doesn’t mean much more than ‘political enemies who might not roll over if we threaten force’.

          1. Riots and violence against private property suck, but are not an insurgency.

            This is not hard.

            1. And taking over, or attempting to take over, public buildings like police buildings, state capitols, and federal buildings …?

              Taking over a provincial police headquarters is like insurgency 101.

              Neither antifa’s various festivities nor 6Jan qualify as coups/insurgencies in the eyes of reasonable centrists, because none of them had any prospect whatsoever of succeeding, and didn’t even evidence any serious planning to try. A real coup would have media outlets seized, some plausible cover story about why GroupX needed to take over to save us, arrests of opponents, etc. Me getting on a soapbox in the park and announcing I’m in charge now just isn’t worth getting a stew about. The insurgency hype may be good for the base, but from the middle it just looks silly.

              Lock the rioters up, but the rhetoric is way overblown.

              1. Sit ins: also not an insurgency.

                Trying to kill/kidnap Congress people while they are doing the business of certifying an election, that’s something quite different.

                Taking over a police HQ alone doesn’t seem like a very effective insurgency to me.

                Reporting seems to be that grave harm both was intended and possible on Jan 6, even if not an actual overturning of the election.

                I think generally you are thinking too functionally. A lot of this is anger at symbols, but an insurgency is an assault on a national government, and symbolism is a lot of what a society is built on.

                1. How was Seattle’s CHAZ not an insurgency? I mean, it wasn’t particularly effective in the long run, but it actually disrupted government rule for an extended period (even if only by government acquiesence). Effectiveness isn’t how we judge whether something was an insurgency or not.

                  (Taking selfies behind Pelosi’s desk doesn’t strike me as particularly effective either, fwiw. Less effective than CHAZ)

                  And CHAZ was at least as much of an assault on symbols as the brief occupation of the capitol. The sustained attack on the federal courthouse in Portland was also a symbolic attack. All these things were deplorable – singling out the capitol incident as being uniquely worse is only possible because it appeals to partisanship.

                  1. Did it aim to topple the existing government? It did not. At no time was there any intent for Seattle to fall to those yahoos. Plus, of course, they weren’t assaulting Seattle’s elected reps.

                    They came to Pelosi’s office looking for her – calling for her. It’s pretty impressive willful blindness not to realize what would have happened should they have caught her, or any of her staffers.

                    I don’t think of a block in Seattle as vital to our republic.

                    1. “It’s pretty impressive willful blindness not to realize what would have happened should they have caught her, or any of her staffers.”

                      If that’s the best attempt to kidnap/assassinate Pelosi they can come up with … well, if I must have enemies, I’ll take incompetent enemies like that.

                      “Plus, of course, they weren’t assaulting Seattle’s elected reps.”

                      Would you settle for trying to torch the Portland mayor’s house?

                    2. Or a commissioner?

                      “Portland Unified Command said that the group marched to Ryan’s home, broke a window and tossed “burning flares and paint filled balloons” at the house.”

                      Again, this stuff is seriously not OK. Not even a little bit OK. But the coup/insurgency talk is overblown.

                    3. Badly thought out, but came pretty close to working, from what the Congress people and staffers are saying.

                      Don’t think I’m defending the riots, but throwing burning newspapers into a building, while worth some years in prison to be sure, is different from literally invading, overwhelming the guards, and looking for the governor.

                      Outside versus inside – this doesn’t seem a hard distinction to make.

                    4. “but came pretty close to working, from what the Congress people and staffers are saying”

                      I really don’t get this. Let’s plan a coup:

                      1) we storm the capitol and ziptie all the senators on our list
                      4) and now we’ve taken over the country, the cops and army are doing our bidding, woot, we’re dictators for life!!!!

                      Can you fill in a few details in the middle there, and explain what the 6Jan folks were planning to do for those intermediate steps? Because without some intermediate steps, all ziptieing Pelosi does is add an hour to our revolution, and a couple decades to our sentences.

                    5. Uhh, the rioters in Seattle took over City Hall and called for the mayor’s resignation. And it was a Marxist councillor who let them into the building. Why wasn’t that seen as civil insurrection, and why didn’t anyone call for the councillor who let the yahoos in to be removed from office? Oh, right, it was on the left so anything they do is okay.

                2. What Squirrelloid said.

                  “Taking over a police HQ alone doesn’t seem like a very effective insurgency to me.”

                  (forgive me, I’m an Army brat, grew up with a map of Vietnam on my bedroom wall, …)
                  It’s actually one of the classics. Early on in an insurgency, the government is trying to convince the population the insurgency is a nothingburger doomed to fail. The insurgents want to show the converse, that the government can’t stop them. So the insurgents want to do high visibility things. Knocking out a power line is one classic – easy to do with limited resources, and the government can’t hide the outage. Police stations/Provincial headquarters, etc are the next step – if you hold one for a few days it’s really showing up the governments impotence. If you can free some of your peeps, all the better (and in the days of file cabinets, you might get to read interesting stuff, and destroy info you’d rather the government not have).

                  If the 6Jan people had gone it with 100 heavily armed guys and held the Capitol for a couple of days of heavy fighting with the responding SWAT teams, that would have been an effective terror attack (think Beslan), if not much of a coup. It would have fit a ‘the government isn’t really in charge’ narrative, just like the Tet offensive.

                  Swiping a lectern just doesn’t quite come across the same.

                  “Reporting seems to be that grave harm both was intended and possible”

                  Your narrative is ‘the right wingers have guns out the wazoo, are terribly dangerous’ … but they left them all at home for their coup attempt??? Not real persuasive.

                  The handful of guys w/ zip ties … yeah, that’s weird. If the gov can make attempted kidnapping charges stick, wonderful. But it’s kind of insurgency lite. Compare to, say, the CHOP/CHAZ folks with armed sentries saying no cops allowed in. That was still pretty lame – I don’t think anyone thought the cops couldn’t roll them up if they decided to.

                  To look at it another way, if 6Jan was a coup/insurgency, it was the dumb and dumber version. It’s hard to worry too much about that. I worry there is some McVeigh wannabe out there listening to the overwrought rhetoric; I’ll lose sleep over that. But not folks in Viking hats.

            2. Riots and violence against private property suck, but are not an insurgency.

              This is not hard.

              Yeah, dishonestly ignoring all of the violence they committed (and attempted) against government buildings and agents thereof is really easy…and the one thing you excel at is lazy bullshit.

    3. There is an old story in which one neighbor takes another to court, claiming “his goat ate my cabbages.”
      Replied the defendant:
      He had no cabbages;
      But if he did, they were not eaten;
      But if they were eaten, it was not by a goat;
      But if they were eaten by a goat, it was not my goat;
      But if it was my goat, that goat is insane.

      Pleading in the alternative is allowed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. But it does not do much for your credibility.

      1. “And that goat is a liar!”

        Wait, wrong joke.

    4. Except that Obama is really running things, and Brennan was Obama’s man…

  20. And the witch burning begins.

    1. No librarians will be drafted into the Thought Police

  21. At least the odd libertarians are okay.

    1. Isn’t that most libertarians??

      1. Wouldn’t every other libertarian be even?

        1. Libertarians oppose any governmental mandate that defines them as odd or even.

            1. Even odd.

  22. So we’re on day 2 of the Biden administration and the faux-outrage-and-self-grievance machine is already turned up to 10, guys? The headline intentionally twists the quote and drops the context to make this sound outrageous, but in the actual quotation it’s a reasonable statement made by a talking head with no authority or role in the administration. This is EXACTLY the problem. There are enough outrageous things that have happened and enough work that must to be done in our country; we do not need or benefit from the smug satisfaction of this type of distorted reporting or consumption. Maybe we all should have spent more time thinking about what Biden DID say yesterday instead of feigning outrage over something his administration definitely did NOT say, even if the latter makes us feels better in our little thinking places.

    1. If a high ranking person associated with the President actually said what EV quoted, then we need to be scared. Very scared…

  23. EV’s tabloid-style headlines too often detract from the quality of his writing.

    1. Catchy headlines are standard practice for journalists.

      1. Why drag journalists into this?

        Although . . the Volokh Conspiracy desperately needs an editor or two.

  24. *John Brennan* on MSNBC, 1/20/2021: _Biden intel community “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, *even libertarians* ”_

    *Welcome to the party, pal!* -Det. John McClane, Die Hard

  25. John Brennan on MSNBC, 1/20/2021: Biden intel community “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians”

    Welcome to the party, pal! -Det. John McClane, Die Hard

    1. That was legit funny! Bravo!

  26. The Old inquisition:
    “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?”
    The New inquisition:
    “Are you now or have you ever been a religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarian . . . . Oh heck, just look at this list and circle either YES or NO at the bottom”

  27. “News flash. Mainstream government insider misuses word ‘libertarian’. Film at 11.”

    1. If that bothers you, don’t look at the slogan published at this blog’s masthead.

  28. “Calling up 25,000 troops to Washington this week was not just for “security”. It was clearly a show of strength by the winning side. It was a display of military might to remind the other half of America who won and who is in charge.”

    1. Calling up the military and then questioning it’s loyalty or commitment to duty is really bad optics tho. It shows severe insecurity and a total lack of confidence in their own power.

      1. Which is why they are dangerous…

  29. Well, of COURSE those damned Libertarians are “insurrectionists”! They want to take over the government and leave you alone! And we can’t have that, can we? Might put some bureaucrats out of work, and the Democrats definitely don’t want that!

  30. Ok, this “Pink Hat Lady” California transplant into Pennsylvania, mother of 8, a seditionist, identifies herself as libertarian:
    “I guess you could say that I’m more libertarian at heart.” ( )
    Oath Keepers, a nest of seditionist conspiracy, was founded by Stewart Rhodes, who was featured on and “labels himself a libertarian or constitutionalist”. (

    Ted Cruz, a seditionist senator, surely wants to be identified with libertarians ( )
    “Well, and that’s one of the reasons you and I see eye to eye on so many issues. I have described myself – I am a conservative, but with strong Libertarian leanings.” (

    The argument that these are not “true Libertarians” will ring hollow until you and your fellow Conspirators make an effort an reclaim the label, even if it means losing some of your more extreme following. Looking through the comments here, you need to try harder.

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