Clapper is in severe thrall to wishful thinking, and Pawlenty was right to call him out. The larger problem is that the same kind of wishful thinking pervades virtually all of the policy analysis in Washington regarding Islamic jihad. An update on this story. “Pawlenty demands explanation from Obama’s DNI,” by Jessica Yellin for CNN, February 11:
Washington (CNN) – “If he doesn’t have a good explanation he should go,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said of President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, in an exclusive interview with CNN Friday.
Pawlenty, a possible Republican presidential contender, was reacting to Director James Clapper’s testimony before a House panel Thursday. Clapper described the Islamic group the Muslim Brotherhood as “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”
The description of the group as “largely secular” raised enough concern that his spokesperson later issued the following statement explaining his remarks: “To clarify Director Clapper’s point – in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”
Speaking exclusively to CNN Gov Tim Pawlenty said, “I’m not sure if he was misinformed, misread the statement, uninformed, but whatever it was that’s not a good signal to have the leader of our national intelligence infrastructure say the Brotherhood is a largely secular organization. Something is amiss w either him or our administration’s view toward intelligence.”…