edward long

Association of Old Crows

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What calm, rational explanations can TEDsters share regarding the unconventional swearing-in ceremony of the new CIA boss today?

VP Biden swore-in new CIA Director Brennan today without the use of a Bible. He used a copy of the Constitution which does not contain the Bill of Rights. Brennan, whose religion uses the Koran, has sworn to uphold "the" Constitution of the United States. If there is only one current and binding Constitution why did they use an obsolete copy?
All the questions about the current administration are sounding like alarmist, right-wing conspiracy theories. But, really, what is the true significance of this unusual ceremony? Technology has greatly enhanced Entertainment and Design. Why shouldn't it enhance civic awareness?

Closing Statement from edward long

10 folks had one of these four opinions:
1- It's all a sham; 2- The Bill of Rights will be ignored by new CIA Chief; 3- It's all meaningless protocol;4- It violates the separation of church and state. There is confusion regarding the religious affiliation of John Brennan, new CIA Director. Fact checking online produced "proof" that he has converted to Islam and that he has not converted to Islam.

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    Mar 12 2013: What difference does it make what a liar swears by? And if the person is honest, then they would happily swear by anything to demonstrate their sincerity to as many as possible. There is nothing that is pledged at the beginning of any job that can compare with performance integrity. There are those who have sworn by a holy book and then set out to kill millions. We need to hold elected officials accountable and responsible for their performance and we need to set the appointed official's conditions of employment and if thery break them, they must be easily removed from office. Their disgrace would be well deserved.

    It's time for transparency in government. The most powerful country on Earth cant last without without integrity. Lies are not a sutable foundation for logevity
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      Mar 12 2013: That is the question sir. Does it make any difference what a person chooses to place their hand on for a ceremony? I think there is significance in the departure from tradition, and that's what it is, tradition. Does the departure itself signify anything? That is what I am asking. Your question digs deeper into the veracity and character of people. Am I correct in understanding you see no significance whatsoever in the doubly unorthodox ceremony?
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        Mar 14 2013: To answer your first question, no I don't think that it matters what people put their hand upon for a ceremony. What matters is whether the person is honest and capable of being effective in the position, on behalf of the employer, which in this case is the American taxpayers.

        Does the departure signify anything? Not to me. The ceremony is meaningless unless the person is pledging to something that they will be held to.

        The significance, in my opinion is minor. Lets see what kind of walk he'll walk. Closing all foreign prisons would a good start.
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          Mar 14 2013: Thank you! Your contribution to this collaborative conversational debate is valuable and helpful. I join you in monitoring his performance in the office, as we citizens always should. Be well sir.
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    Mar 12 2013: According to the article I read, Brennan, a Jesuit-educated Catholic, wanted to take his oath using something that represented his commitment to the idea of its being a government of laws. The version was noteworthy in having George Washington's signature on it, direct from the National Archives.

    As he is Catholic, I don't think it would have made sense for him to swear on the Koran, even if he has read it and admires parts of it.

    I had honestly not focused on the idea that people assuming office typically swear on the Bible. Maybe he wanted to send the message that as a government official, he meant to uphold the laws of the land rather than the mandates of any one religion over others?

    I don't think its not having the Bill of Rights suggests that he wouldn't uphold the Bill of Rights. He has to, after all, because that is part of the law of the land!
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      Mar 12 2013: Do you have an unimpeachable source regarding Brennan's current religious affiliation? Talk on the street is that he converted to Islam while on assignment in Saudi Arabia. It has nothing to do with his qualification for office but it might explain his preference to not use the Holy Bible. And I understand you see no significance to the out-dated Constitution. Thanks for your views sir.
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        Mar 12 2013: I just haven't seen any indication in biographical material of a religion other than Catholicism. Because of his work, I expect it would have become public had a he undergone conversion.
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          Mar 12 2013: I have several cybersources who state unequivocally that Brennan converted to Islam while on assignment in Saudi Arabia. I also have several stating Brennan is absolutely not a Moslem. But I have none saying he is a Catholic. It seems like the religious affections of the number one man in the organization which guides our national policy on Arab unrest should not be difficult to determine.
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        Mar 12 2013: Sounds like lots of rumors to me. Wikipedia says he had a Catholic upbringing.

        In any case, I know I rsspect people of a variety of faiths.
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          Mar 12 2013: Absolutey. What I don't respect is an effort to misrepresent a candidates relevant biography. I wonder if that is happening here.
  • Mar 12 2013: Just another sham to be talked about on Ted instead of yanking down the sham
    and getting rid of them. All of them.
    They don't mind anyone discussing them really.
    As long as it keeps people from doing something because they finally get the truth into their consciousness
    instead of repeatedly looking at all the little quirky details that scream, get rid of them!
    They are phony, liars, cheats, murderers, abusers and crooks
    I believe Richard Nixon told the country three times, "I am not a crook," after the three times he was caught. Came back twice, before finally leaving but still said it that third time.
    The only two things American'ts lack are guts (action) and action (truth) because that's what the truth means.
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      Mar 12 2013: Not a pretty picure sir, a fair representation, but not a pretty one. Do you think "talking about shams" is more likely to lead to action and truth than ignoring them? I sure do.
  • Mar 12 2013: Two questions for you Ed.

    Does the Constitution require that those taking leadership roles in government be sworn in with a Bible?

    What does the Bible itself say about swearing or taking an oath?
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      Mar 12 2013: No. The Constitution invokes just two controls on religion neither of which stipulates a Bible. The Holy Bible instructs believers to speak only the truth, letting their "yes" be yes, and their "no" be no, thus avoiding sworn oaths (Matthew 5:33-37-- KJV).
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    Gail .

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    Mar 12 2013: If I were president, I would be sworn in using the constitution - after all, those people are swearing to uphold the constitution of the United States of America - something that all now in office fail to do. Those who are well aware of our history know that SOTUS threw out the Constitution as the "Law of the Land" that it says it is, are passionate about restoring a Constitutional Republic.

    We could solve or improve so many of our problems if more people understood that when politicians speaks of the constitution, they are not speaking of the WRITTEN constitution. They speak of the UNwritten one - the one that SOTUS created when it established British Common Law as the ultimate authority. Our new director appears to understand the difference - something that most people don't because they have been openly lied to about their own history.

    I would LOVE it if there were more focus on the WRITTEN constitution that specifically prohibits most of the spending that has driven this country into bankruptcy, and specifically prohibits the feds from imposing religious-based laws that divide us and make us enemies of one another, in order to hide the fact that we have become enemies of the state.

    By now, I simply assume that if they use a Bible as part of the swearing in ceremony, they do it for show, and are hypocrites (as proven by how willing they are to violate the WRITTEN constitution.)

    This, in my mind, has NOTHING to do with religion and everything to do with honesty and integrity.
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      Mar 12 2013: Would you use the current written Constitution, or the original which did not include the Bill of Rights?
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        Gail .

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        Mar 13 2013: Without the Bill of Rights, the government would be no different than the one we have today. The Bill of Rights took power away from the central government and gave it to the States/people. The Coup d'etat reversed the process.

        The ratification process of the original Constitution failed because it granted unlimited power to the Fed. The Bill of Rights are a result of a promise if NY, CT, NH, MA, RI, and VA would ratify the Constitution as written and allow the Article V amendment process to be used to make changes that would cause the proposed Constitution to be acceptable. Now, all has gone so far wrong that Congress gave itself the power to approve or deny any amendments that the people themselves might choose to make in spite of the Article V wording.
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          Mar 13 2013: Thanks for that little-known history lesson. Do you see any significance to the use of an unratified Constiiution in the CIA Director's ceremony?
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        Gail .

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        Mar 13 2013: Symbolically it makes a grand statement. I would have preferred the entire constitution, but the message was sent. A foot in the door, as it were.
  • Mar 12 2013: Dear edward long,what your question reminds me one of famous chinese authors:LuXun.When he was young and studying in Japan in medicine major.Once he found chinese people watching the document film which was about japan warriors killed chinese with soldiers' sword.They felt numbly and looked it for fun.It shocked LuXun very much.Because when he was a kid,he saw many chinese people were poor and no mony to see doctors when they were sick .So he decided to focus on learning medicine to be a doctor to help his fellow countrymen.What he saw forced him to change the doctor's dream into an author to write novels and articles to awaken chinese people's civic awareness.When I was a kid reading the article I didn't understand so much.But as I grow up I start to understand more and more how important is civic awareness.
    As the world is getting to be a global village.High technology indeed has greatly enhanced entertainment and design.So I think it is the right time for TED to devote to all over the world's education:enhance civic awareness,be positive to support people to have better education,help people be conscious,keep critical thinking,Spread love and kindness around.
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      Mar 12 2013: Right on! You go edulover! Now, do you see any significance in the Brennan ceremony?
      • Mar 13 2013: Dear edward long,excuse me,What is'the Brennan ceremony?could you tell me more informaiton about it?Thanks.
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          Mar 13 2013: Read the intro. to this conversation. It's all there.
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    Mar 12 2013: Edward, I cannot find any references to confirm Brennen's religious base of either Catholic as Fritzie has mentioned or as a muslim as is rumored and is accused of by FBI Agent John Guandolo who says he has witnesses to the conversion.

    It is my belief that all political appointees should be sworn in using a bible ... but that is me.

    One other element that gives me concern is that a article was removed from the protection of the archives for this event. I am sure that the same type of environmental controls were not present at the ceremony plus the oil from skin, polution from the traffic, and a host of other problems.

    It seems that the White House is fighting so many battles that this would be a easy one to defeat if the White House cared about what the people think ... which they don't. Some reporter will go to the local Catholic church and see if he is on the roles or has been dropped. Seems like that would have been a easy step.

    I understand the value of the Amendments and think that the jesture would have had more meaning with the complete Bill of Rights included.

    This is kinda like ripping out the pages of the Bible you disagree with and then taking the Bible oath.

    Bob.
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      Mar 12 2013: By way of elaboration sir. Our founders chose to make the ceremonial book, or document, a matter of individual choice. Tradition was immediately established that only the Holy Bible was worthy to serve as a representation of truth and trustworthiness. Brennan exercised his constitutional right to choose what he would place his hand upon for his oath of office. His choice was two-fold: 1) Not the Holy Bible, and 2) an obsolete version of the Constitution. Were these deliberate, telling choices, or were they just trivial elements of a superficial ceremony?
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        Mar 12 2013: Just as a matter of interest ... how does this oath differ from the oath he was currently serving under. In the military when we got promoted we did not take a new oath. For that matter why would a re-elected president or VP need to re-oath as no lapse has occured. If they must "start over" does that include a new investigative background check, etc ....

        Questions such as these may indicate how much time I have on my hands.
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          Mar 12 2013: My knee-jerk response is that he is being sworn-in to an office for the first time. Everyone who occupies that office must take that oath. Pomp and circumstance my good man!
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    Mar 12 2013: That gives me an idea this being TED and all how about they swear in with a shock collar. A certain number of votes in disagreement indicating that they have violated the Constitution and the the individual would get a shock. Enough transgressions and they would either get the KFC treatment or could tap out of office their choice.

    What do you think?
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      Mar 12 2013: Careful sir, the DHS may not have considered shock collars for their growing arsenal. Oops, that's a different post. Facing retirement is not a problem for high-up elected officials since their retirement programs are mega-sweet. Getting fried might work.
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        Mar 12 2013: Tapping out would include the retirement plan.
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      Mar 12 2013: 'Enough transgressions" ... If there is proof that there were considerable transgressions against the Constitution then they have violated their contract and all bets are off ... no retirement .... no party .. a note to pack your sh*t and leave by the back door. The front door is for Americans. You have no honor and will not be rewarded. However, as an alternative you could elect to be shot in the public square at dawn. Please consider option two.

      But then again I am a softie.
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        Mar 12 2013: Yes you are too kind. But your plan works for me.
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    Mar 12 2013: The use of the Bible or any religious book in a ceremony to "swear-in" anyone for any public or government office or duty flies directly in the face of "Separation of Church and State" and I am deeply and personally offended by the continued use of this convention. I applaud Brennan for his courage and commitment to a consistent application of the laws of our nation.
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      Mar 12 2013: The First Amendment to the Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...." . Article VI specifies that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust . . .." The reality is sir that there is no constitutional provision for separation of church and state. That phrase was first introduced by Jefferson and has become almost nationally accepted as a Constitutional requirement. It is not! Any official may choose what will be used for the swearing-in ceremony. Choosing a religious book is not something you have any legal grounds for being deeply and personally offended by. It is perfectly consistent with the Constitution. Check it out.
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        Mar 12 2013: Respectfully I disagree…the Constitution is a living document and must submit to contextual interpretations in real time, so specifies Article VI that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust…." (placing one's hand on the Bible), therefore and as you so stated, "has become almost nationally accepted as a Constitutional requirement". This convention is irrelevant to a ceremony where the intent is a commitment to the Constitution and the Laws of the land.
        In my all too often and all too generously offered opinion.

        What about this offends me is the persistent blind-faith traditions held against reason by proponents of mythology, dogma and ideologies that would exclude any citizen of a nation being built on reason and equality.

        But I'm not bitter…(giggle)
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          Mar 12 2013: All valid points sir. But, the FACT is there is no Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. Perceptions and practices may may evolve, but the document stands as written and we cannot make it say something it does not say. Only by the sheer genius of the amendment process can our Constitution be changed. Practice and perception be damned!
  • Mar 11 2013: They might have just asked Brennan how he wanted to be sworn in. If the bible doesn't have the intended significance to the person to be sworn in, and the Koran does, then perhaps it is more appropriate. Sadly, my guess about the constitution is ignorance as to its completeness. I am more concerned that our new Director is given the same oath as other public servants, and performs his duties with honor, courage and commitment, less about the ceremony.
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      Mar 12 2013: Thanks for your insight. You believe they chose not to use the Holy Bible or the Koran, but instead, out of pure ignorance, used an out-of-date version of the Constitution minus the Bill of Rights. I think that is possibly the explanation. Is the question about WHICH Constitution Brennan swears to uphold worth asking, or is it right-wing paranoia best left unspoken?
      • Mar 12 2013: If they don't suggest or imply a significance to the version, then I can envision it being something given to a staffer that might not even have know there was more than one version. The whole thought chain might have been something like "Need copy of Constitution, visit National Archives,gift shop to get one, get cheapest copy, give to boss...done."

        I would never suggest a question is not worth asking. I think curiosity is the manifestation of an active mind, even if based on suspicion, and I like that such questions are asked and answered on this forum.
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          Mar 12 2013: Anyone can publish anything on this new-fangled Interweb. Some of the information might even be true! Anyway, I read that after the ceremony , off-the-record, they made a statemant about why that particular copy was specified. It may not have been a "get one quick" deal. I understand you are confident that Brennan has sworn to uphold the current Constitution. Thank you!