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

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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)

endthelie.com / By Madison Ruppert / March 9, 2013

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.”

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