End the Lie

The symbolism of Brennan being sworn in with hand on Constitution without Bill of Rights

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By End the Lie

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. (Image credit: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. (Image credit: Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

There has been a great deal of buzz surrounding the swearing-in ceremony of John Brennan as director of the CIA during which he took his oath of office with his hand on the original draft of the US Constitution which, most notably, did not include the Bill of Rights.

Some see this as quite symbolic given the extreme rejection of the most essential rights by the current administration, most notably the wild interpretation of the concept of due process, the claimed authority to kill Americans even when there is no clear evidence of terrorist activity and the claimed authority to indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial.

The White House wrote, “Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.”

Why is that problematic?

“That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution,” Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel points out. “The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.”

Keep in mind, Brennan is referred to as the chief architect of the Obama administration’s highly contentious open-ended drone program.

Wheeler maintains that “these vows always carry a great deal of symbolism” and the White House also “took pains to emphasize the symbolism of the ceremony” according to Oliver Knox.

“There’s one piece of this that I wanted to note for you,” said spokesman Josh Earnest at the White House’s daily briefing. “Director Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution that had George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it, dating from 1787.”

“Director Brennan told the president that he made the request to the archives because he wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA,” Earnest said.

The problem is that he reaffirmed his commitment to a Bill of Rights-free version of the Constitution.

“That means: No freedom of speech and of the press, no right to bear arms, no Fourth Amendment ban on ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ and no right to a jury trial,” writes Knox.

Some bloggers maintain that there is a quite deep meaning behind this ceremony.

“This administration seems to view the Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, as impediments to progress,” writes Mike Shortridge. “Progression towards what exactly is a major point of contention, but the steps taken to circumvent the Bill of Rights are indisputable.”

Others maintain that even if he had taken an oath on a Constitution that includes the Bill of Rights, it wouldn’t stop him from violating it.

“Even if Brennan had taken an oath on the Constitution with the Bill of Rights included, does anyone think that would stop him from making a mockery of the document if the president ordered him to?” Rick Moran asks.

Others just make passing mention of the symbolism of the document choice.

Was this choice pregnant with meaning or are people just reading into it? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments section of this post.

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12 Responses to The symbolism of Brennan being sworn in with hand on Constitution without Bill of Rights

  1. Anonymous March 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Brennan is a traitor to his country. This is not surprising in the slightest!

  2. Mark Chaney March 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    The fact that mainstream media made only cursory comment regarding the symbolism of this ceremony is just more testament to the government control of these organisations. Mr Brennan has been carefully chosen for this position and any thought that there may have been serious dissent in Congress is laughable. He would have chosen the swearing-in document very carefully, not through any altruistic intention, but precisely because it does not contain the Bill of Rights and constitutional amendments. If he’s ever brought to task over decisions made during his tenure that go against the Bill of Rights or constitutional amendments he can legitimately say that he never swore his oath on those in the first place. And it’s all done with smiles…

    • Anon March 10, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      media is a government lapdog at this point

  3. Greg Burton March 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Isn’t it amazing what a false-flag attack (9/11), DOJ/FBI agent provocateur concocted terror plots, police state laws passed in the dead of night without review can do to a constitutional republic?

  4. Dr. Goldstein March 11, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    The “Global Elite” with their NWO Agenda are planning to shred basic freedoms – especially freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. We all saw the peaceful Occupy Groups getting their brains bashed in by criminals with badges.

    The ultimate goal of this oppression is to shut down all “alternative media” on the internet within 2 years. The “alternative news” (AKA THE TRUTH)” has bankrupted and almost toppled the zio-corporate MSM. Nobody believes the MSM anymore.

    It will start as a “temporary censorship” due to the coming WW3, but – like temporary taxes, and temporary govt ‘borrowing’ of our Social Security money – it will be permanent.

  5. DDearborn March 12, 2013 at 3:48 AM


    Given that perception is often 9/10’s of reality the Director of the CIA must reaffirm his oath of office once more with a copy of the Constitution that DOES include the Bill of Rights.I mean after all what does would this take 10 minutes or so?

    On the other hand if he refuses than it is clear that he intnetionally swore an oath to NOT obey the Bill of Rights. If this is the case than he will have to resign or be fired. It is not rocket science people. It is OUR government after all.

    • WIDEAWAKE March 12, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      “It is OUR government after all”…… WRONG!! It is a government run by jews FOR jews and you are merely a compliant victim of theft, sorry.

  6. Rob Gonzalez March 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    The government doesn’t do anything unintentionally.

  7. thedoctor March 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    The symbolism is important. These folks, the ones who get to the “top” do not want to appear to be violating the oath they agreed to. I know it seems funny, but the oath he agreed to was not our currently accepted constitution, ergo, he will never be violating the terms of the accepted version as he never used that one. This is key, a kind of built in cognitive dissonance, the perfect legal defense; “how can I violate the constitution when I didn’t agree to uphold it!”

    Note the “version” was not a final, signed version, but a draft. So, he didn’t even accept the oath on anything valid, oops. He pledged an oath to a meaningless piece of paper, one that has no valid connection the “country” he serves. This isn’t just symbolic…

    So, one has to beg the question: what is an oath, is there any point to it at all? Why is the paper required at all, if you can swap in any piece of paper you want, swear on the first edition of Superman!

    One interesting question is why to people simply accept the given explanation as the truth? He just wanted to get back to his roots, isn’t an explanation at all, but why has this become the established, perfectly acceptable, explanation of avoiding an oath that was good enough for dozens before him?

  8. ean March 13, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Why was he not sworn in with his hand The Bible? Is it becuase he converted to Islam?

  9. horsey March 15, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I think this was deliberate, but it should not be regarded as legally relevant: The oath should be treated as purely symbolic, as the constitution is already the law for those who occupy public office. If ignorance of the law is no excuse for us, why should it be an excuse for them? Considering the absolute contempt that politicians have for the constitution today, what’s the point of a ceremony anyway? What we really need is a special prosecutor elected by the public whose job is solely to prosecute government officials for constitutional violations… but that in itself would probably require a constitutional amendment.

  10. Randall P. Robinson April 1, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I find it odd or unusual that C.I.A. Director John Brennan would take his oath of office with his left hand placed on a legal document as opposed to a book of faith. It is the act of solemnly placing one’s hand upon the book of one’s faith that reinforces the importance of the oath. You are making a promise…as God is your witness. If you are not going to use the book of your faith for the oath of office, there is no equivalency in using an encyclopedia, a favorite childhood nursery rhymes book, or even a draft of the U.S. Constitution from the National Archives, as was used in this instance. Brennan’s decision to voluntarily deviate from the historical tradition of using the Bible in his swearing in ceremony did nothing to quash or dispel the rumors that he converted to Islam while he was the CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia. http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/shock-claim-obama-picks-muslim-for-cia-chief/


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