Panel approves Brennan for CIA

March 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate panel voted 12-3 behind closed doors Tuesday to recommend the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director.

It was not immediately clear when the full Senate would vote on the nomination after the Senate Intelligence Committee acted, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he hopes to have a vote by the end of the week, Politico reported.

But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he wants to know if Brennan believes the United States may legally use drones to conduct strikes on U.S. soil, and threatens to delay the nomination until he gets an answer, Politico reported.

Also, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., threaten to delay Brennan's confirmation if they do not get additional information about the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"Senators deserve answers to questions," McCain told reporters Tuesday. "That's our constitutional responsibility. It's been a month now since we've asked the questions, and I hope we get the answers, period."

Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, said hours before Tuesday's vote in closed session that she had reached an agreement with the Obama administration on the release of U.S. Justice Department legal memos on the targeted killings of American citizens overseas, the newspaper reported.

A former top CIA official, Brennan is President Barack Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser, and is considered the architect of the administration's drone strike policy.

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