In his 1980 graduate thesis at the University of Texas at Austin, John Brennan denied the existence of “absolute human rights” and argued in favor of censorship on the part of the Egyptian dictatorship.

“Since the press can play such an influential role in determining the perceptions of the masses, I am in favor of some degree of government censorship,” Brennan wrote. “Inflamatory [sic] articles can provoke mass opposition and possible violence, especially in developing political systems.”…

Brennan ultimately concluded that human rights do not exist because they cannot be “classified as universal.”

“The United States should be expected to pass a more strict human rights test [than Egypt] because its environment is more conducive to the realization of those rights,” Brennan concluded. “An economic comparison between Egypt and one of its wealthy Arab neighbors such as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait would be equally unfair due to the wealth of those countries.”