Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Sen. Rand Paul Says He Will Stall John Brennan's Confirmation
Republican Senator Rand Paul is going to try to block John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director, either through a filibuster or via his friends on the Senate Intelligence Committee:
"I will do everything I can to stop him, and I told him I will filibuster it," Paul said. "Unfortunately I am not enough. You know, it takes 41. And we could not hold 41 together on the Hagel nomination. So my guess is I will not get 41."
Paul explained his strategy for blocking Brennan via the committee vote.
"My best chance, though, is that I have allies in the Committee," Paul said. "The Intelligence Committee is pretty powerful on these things. And the CIA realizes that, and the president has to deal with the intelligence committee. If the Intelligence Committee will continue to object and ask my question, Brennan will not come forward. They have the power to hold his nomination — and right now, see he was supposed to be approved by the committee last Thursday and they moved it to this Tuesday. So that means that I have a very good chance the White House will be forced to respond."
The senator's question? He wants a response from the Obama Administration on whether drone strikes would ever be used within the United States.
"When John Brennan has been asked, he says that there are no geographical limitations to the use of drones strikes," Paul said. "And so the follow-up question is, obviously, does that mean even the U.S. border is not a geographical limitation?"
"We have laws in the United States that say the CIA is not to operate in the United States and we restrict our own military from operating in the United States … And so I am very, very concerned about this," Paul said.
Five or six years ago, I would have considered this question tinfoil hat material. Today, I feel it's entirely legitimate.
I admit to being disappointed that this is what John Brennan's conformation hangs on, as I'm far more interested in his assistance and sympathies towards Iran, Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as a number of controversial statements he's made. But like Chuck Hagel,Brennan will almost certainly be confirmed.
Putting Hagel and Brennan in these positions carries the same context that giving Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White or Owen Lattimore similar national security cabinet positions would have back in the 1950's. Remember you heard it here first.