On Feb. 7, CIA director nominee John Brennan appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to answer questions from senators about a wide range of issues involving his career, President Barack Obama’s controversial drone counter-terrorism policies, and the future of the nation’s premier spy agency, as reported in the Washington Post.
The senate panel peppered the nominee with sharp questions about many of the contentious counter-terrorism policies of President Barack Obama and former administrations for which Brennan was a high-ranking official at the CIA.
At times Brennan appeared defiant toward the senators - even evasive towards Democrats on drones - by simply claiming certain lines of questioning were classified government secrets and could not be explored further.
The tone of the exchanges was more amplified than the confirmation hearing for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel the week before. National Journal’s Jill Lawrence described the stark contrast between the two as, “Maybe it’s the difference between New Jersey and Nebraska, or the blunt talk of a hard-nosed terrorism expert and ruminations from a foreign policy think-tanker.”
Brennan’s demeanor personified the uncompromising and obdurate man described in an article titled “The Lethal Bureaucrat” that was published in ForeignPolicy.com on the day of the 9/11 commemoration and Benghazi massacre on September 11, 2012, writing:
“No politically appointed official in U.S. history has played such a prominent role in killing so many people outside of a war zone as John Brennan.”
Many prominent Democrats have voiced their outrage at President Obama’s drone “kill list” policy that operates out of the White House by John Brennan.
The nomination of John Brennan is not a surprise to Democrats close to President Barack Obama. The ForeignPolicy.com article describes Brennan as, “a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Obama.”