US Senate panel greenlights CIA nominee John Brennan
By Michael Mathes, AFPWASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday endorsed John Brennan to be the next CIA director, after the White House turned over secret memos on the targeted killing of Americans.
March 7, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
Senators voted by 12 votes to three to approve Brennan, putting him on track to be President Barack Obama's third confirmed national security nominee, after Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel.
A full Senate vote on Brennan's confirmation is expected this week.
“No one is better prepared to be CIA director than Mr. Brennan,” committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement announcing the vote.
Brennan has been subjected to a two-month confirmation process, with some U.S. lawmakers insisting that questions remain about his nomination or using it as leverage to force the White House to release it more classified information.
Republicans notably wanted answers about the secret U.S. drone program and a deadly attack on U.S. diplomats on Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.
They got much of it on Tuesday, when the White House agreed to release more material, including secret Justice Department memos on the president's powers to authorize the killing of Americans in counterterror operations.
“Just last night I reached agreement with the White House to review all OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinions on targeted killings of Americans,” Feinstein said.
“It was unfortunate these issues delayed the process, but I am confident that they have been resolved.”
The committee's top Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss, said he voted against Brennan due to “inconsistencies” in his testimony last month.