US Senate Confirms John Brennan As New CIA Director

Photo Credit: Getty ImagesThe U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed John Brennan as the Obama administration’s next Central Intelligence Agency director, overcoming concerns expressed by Republicans and some Democrats about the administration’s use of lethal drone strikes.

After the administration clarified its drone policy, Republican Senators allowed the Senate to vote on Brennan’s confirmation, which he won by a vote of 63-34.

Republican Senator Rand Paul spoke for nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor on Wednesday in an attempt to get the administration to declare that “targeted killings” of American citizens on U.S. soil were unconstitutional.

Hours before the final vote, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a brief letter to Paul, saying President Barack Obama does not have the authority to order a drone to kill an American on U.S. soil who was “not engaged in combat.”

Paul, who said his delaying tactic was not a protest against Brennan’s qualifications to lead the CIA, called it a major victory for American civil liberties. He nonetheless voted against Brennan.

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