Brennan's CIA director nomination approved by Senate committee


Demonstrators disrupt the confirmation hearing of John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2013. The hard-nosed architect of the US drone war against Al Qaeda, Brennan faces difficult questions about secret assassinations from senators weighing his nomination to lead the CIA. Committee chair Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-CA, cleared the room after several outbursts by protesters.


Saul Loeb

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday approved John Brennan's nomination to lead the CIA.

According to the Associated Press, the vote was 12-3.

Deliberations were held behind closed doors, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the committee, did not name the senators who voted against Brennan.

"He draws on a deep well of experience — 25 years as a CIA analyst, chief of station, manager, head of counterterrorism efforts and White House homeland security adviser," said Feinstein.

The vote on Brennan followed two other prominent national security posts being filled by President Barack Obama's nominees: John Kerry for secretary of state and Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.

Brennan would be replacing David Petraeus as head of the spy agency.

Agence France Presse noted that some US lawmakers wanted to ask more questions about Brennan's nomination, specifically about his support for the secret drone program and about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

The New York Times said, "While he is widely expected to win confirmation, senators of both parties have used his nomination to try to pressure the White House into disclosing information it has previously declined to give to Congress."

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wanted the full Senate to consider Brennan's nomination before the end of the week, according to The Times.