Paul Says He Will Block Brennan's CIA Nomination Until He Gets Answers About Obama's License to Kill


In my column today, I note that John Brennan, the counterterrorism adviser President Obama has picked to run the CIA, conspicuously declined to say at his confirmation hearing last week whether his boss has the power to order hits on suspected terrorists within the United States. While the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee let that slide, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he won't, threatening to block Brennan's nomination until he gets a clear answer: 

I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered. I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share.

You can read Paul's letters to Brennan here and here. He asks a total of 40 or so questions. Here are some of them:

Would you agree that it is paradoxical that the federal government would need to go before a judge to authorize a wiretap on a U.S. citizen overseas, but possibly not to order a lethal drone strike against the same individual?  If not, please explain why you believe something similar to the FISA standard should not be applied in regards to lethal actions against U.S. citizens….

How many U.S. citizens have been intentionally killed by U.S. drone strikes since 2008?  How many have been unintentionally killed by U.S. drone strikes during the same period?…

You have indicated that no "credible evidence" exists to support recent claims of civilian casualties resulting from U.S. drone strikes.  Please indicate how you define "credible evidence" and what process is in place to evaluate the legitimacy of alleged civilian casualties….

Do you condone the CIA's practice of counting certain civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes as 'militants,' simply because they were of military age and within close proximity of a target?…

Do you believe that lethal drone strikes constitute "hostilities" as defined by the War Powers Act?  On what legal basis does the administration derive authorization to conduct such strikes?…

Do you believe that the president has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil? What about the use of lethal force against a non-U.S. person on U.S. soil?

As Paul's questions reflect, the Obama administration still has not provided basic facts about its "targeted killing" program, including a complete list of the countries where it operates. When Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) noted at Brennan's confirmation hearing that the nominee had not answered that question, Brennan promised that "if I were to be confirmed as director of CIA, I would get back to you." When Wyden asked how much evidence is needed to justify a presidential death warrant and whether targets on U.S. soil are fair game, Brennan's response was a marvel of misdirection and self-contradiction:

I have been a strong proponent of trying to be as open as possible with these programs as far as our explaining what we're doing.

What we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security. I don't think that it's one or the other. It's trying to optimize both of them.

Toward the end of the hearing, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told Brennan, "I've been through a whole lot of confirmation hearings in 28 years here," and "I quite honestly do not recall anybody who was more forthright, more direct, more accommodating." Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the committee and spent much of her question time testifying about how careful and discriminating the president is in deciding who should die, agreed with Rockefeller.

You can watch Paul's response to last night's State of the Union address, during which Paul declared that "we will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial," here.

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  1. Why does Rand Paul want terrorists to attack targets in the US without the government being able to do anything about it?

    /generic tard

    1. You beat me to it. I was going to come in here and post tomorrow’s NYT headline:

      “Tea Party Senator Seeks to Weaken CIA, Block Nomination – Terrorists Score Major Political Win”

      1. “women, minorities hardest hit”

      2. Come on, Jim – “Girl” is on HBO, and Michael Bay lives – THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON!

      3. “Children and old people to die in streets while monocled libertarians take turns urinating on their corpses while flinging gold coins into the air in celebration”

        1. When you become a libertarian, you develop a . . . taste for certain things.

        2. The fuck I’m going to fling gold coins in the air.

          Giving out silver dimes ? la Rockefeller, sure, but gold, never.

        3. “flinging gold coins into the air in celebration”

          The gold coins have to be privately minted in child sweatshops, and consist of gold fillings extracted from the teeth of selfless union organizers, and social workers. Otherwise, I want no part of it (as it wound not be pure?. “enemy gold”).

          /Polishes monicle.

    2. Why does Rand Paul want terrorists to attack targets in the US without the government being able to do anything about it?

      /generic tard

      Heeeeyy, I resemble that remark!

  2. Hmmm, I’m confused. How does this further his racist,tea-bagging agenda? Real progressives will surely see through this transparent attempt at trying to be appear non evil.

    I’ll go check at Maddows blog to diagnose this conundrum.

    1. When we were in high school, my friends and I were very fond of “Momma” jokes. But we used to always discuss how the “Momma” from the jokes was not a reference to anyone’s actual mother, most of whom we all knew, liked and respected. Rather, it was a fictional construct, created for the sole purpose of having a laugh at your buddy’s expense.

      The same is true of Republicans and Ronald Reagan. The Reagan that they have elevated to near sainthood bears very little resemblance to the actual man who governed from 1981-1989. If any of them would take a moment to reflect on his record, they would find it sorely lacking, from the point-of-view of the “true believers”. Ironically, the Tea Party members who love to invoke his memory so often would ensure that he stood absolutely no chance in a modern GOP primary.

      This is hardly a new observation, and yet the Teapublicans keep on with their veneration of St. Ronnie. If he were active in politics today, they would call him a “socialist” and a “RINO . . .

      The GOP, sniff, tut tut, are not reasonable like they were back in the days of St. Ronnie. ‘Tis a pity, they use to be worth engaging in dialog then, but now they are all a bunch of raving lunatics.

      Yeah, I remember being a liberal in the age of Raygun. That describes as exactly how we regarded him. Who does chumps think they are fooling? Themselves?

      1. Several letters were murdered as I tried to wrestle control of the device interface. ‘Who do these chumps . . .’

        Cleaned it up, seems to be working okay now.

      2. I love how liberals constantly make claims about how “so and so” couldn’t survive a Republican primary today, when the Republicans have nominated George Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney in the last four elections. And before that it was Bob Dole and George HW Bush twice. Not exactly firebreathing radicals

      3. Look at some of the shit liberals said about Reagan during his first term. I wonder where he thinks the moniker “Ronnie Ray-Gun” came from?

        Look at the comments from Tip O’Neill about how Reagan’s anti-Soviet rhetoric and increased defense spending was going to start a nuclear war.

  3. Like a boss. I’m pretty sure he has more integrity then everyone else in the wretched hive put together.

    1. Cruz seems OK so far.

      1. They all seem ok until they don’t anymore.

        1. No, outside of Paul, Amash (House, but still), Cruz, and maybe a couple of others, none of them ever seemed OK.

          1. Cruz is still totally on probation too.

          2. Jeff Flake (my current Senator) is not bad. Same with Mike Lee.

            1. That Mike Pompeo dude is pretty cool too. His work during the Solyndra hearings was epic.

          3. Sure they do. Usually the first time you see someone, you have an open mind. But most politicians you start hating them when you hear what they have to say. Someone like Tim Kaine doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, until he starts speaking.

            But then there are people like Chuck Schumer, who I would hate even if I didn’t know how much he sucks. I can just tell by looking at him.

        2. Some of them are ok on a small handful of issues and terrible on everything else (I’m thinking of Wyden here, who is great on civil liberties but sponsored a single-payer plan during the writing of Obamacare).

  4. “My name is Obama. Barack Obama.”

    “Ahhh, Mr. Obama, yes. Licensed to kill. Would you join me for a game of Baccarat?”

    /007th Sign

    1. That’s not Skyfall, it’s a drone attack!

      1. Obama always enjoys A View to a Kill.

        1. Who doesn’t enjoy a good Christopher Walken flick?

        2. If this keeps up, I’m gonna beat The Living Daylights out of somebody.

          1. I’m not afraid of you Sloopy, I’ll Die Another Day because You Only Live Twice.

            1. Rand rolled into the confirmation hearings like a Thunderball. Unfortunately for the Dems, it appears he’s playing the part of Dr. No.

            2. Smell my Goldfinger.

              1. Sorry, can’t – I’m On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with some bidness in the Eastern Bloc. I’ll send a message From Russia With Love. Oh – Octopussy says “queef!”

            3. Listen to me, you fucking Octopussy. I’m gonna kick you in the Thunderball(s) if you keep this up.

              This comment was For Your Eyes Only, by the way. The rest of the commentariat is free to go on about their day without fear.

                1. Fuck you guys then – I’m off to Casino Roylae for some relaxation. Diamonds are Forever, but Happy Hour only lasts until 6:00….

                  1. Happy Hour wasn’t a Bond movie, you fucking retarded bastard.

              1. Try as Rand might, The World Is Not Enough to fuel the Fed’s expansionary monetary policy.

                Word to the wise: when the fiat currency implodes, one would do well to remember that even though the Man With The Golden Gun is going to make a killing on the markets, Diamonds Are Forever.

                1. DOUBLE JINX ZOMFG!!!1!!

                2. Albert Broccoli is going to sue all of you for this thread; he’s not a Live and Let Die kind of guy. His lawyers will Moonraker you over the coals and then call The Man with the Golden Gun.

              2. Can’t you just Live and Let Die Sloop? I have friends On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that can do things to you they learned From Russia With Love. Have you ever had a Moonraker? It’s not something you can find a Quantum of Solace afterwards.

                1. All of these are great, but have to give props to sloop for figuring out a way to use Octopussy.

                  Though he should be aware that he is the reason there are no Bond Girl libertarians.

                  1. No. No props to anyone. Every single one of those PUNishing comments were retarded.

                    1. See, people — we have some harmless fun with wordplay, and *someono* has to bring a pun into it! Damn you, AlmightyJB… damn you to hell!

                    2. Pretty weaksauce there, AlmightyJB, which is why you deserve to be poked in your Goldeneye, as Tomorrow Never Dies. Even though The World is Not Enough for you, I suppose I’ll let you live to Die Another Day and be punished with Pierce Brosnan in the meantime.

                    3. I knew I shouldn’t have come back to this thread. Evidently everyone got a head start on happy hour which where I’m headed now.

                2. SLoopy’s jealous b/c The Spy Who Loved Me won’t give him the time of day, just A View to a Kill of his emotions.

                  1. Props to me for a better use of Octopussy [QUEEF]

                3. Boy! A Serious Man, did I ever get jinxed! I will Never Say Never Again!

                  (Nice touch with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.)

  5. I know I’ll get flamed for this, but he’s inviting the Senate Dems to nuclear option his ass by using blocks all the flerking time for relatively flimsy reasons. He blocked the “synthetic MJ” legislation last year, which of course was a stupid law, but the one-man block is only supposed to be used for extreme reasons.

    He’s also alienating the rest of the GOP with this; it’s one thing to take potshots at the neocon wing from the side, quite another to make a huge media spectacle of yourself doing it.

    1. I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered.

      That seems like a pretty extreme reason to me.

      1. When you go to a job interview, expect to not be hired if you stonewall the employer’s questions.

        1. Even when a majority of the board of directors want you hired? I don’t think so.

          1. Not if they’re flaming fucking partisan morons, no.

          2. Then what the fuck is the point of having a one-man block? If it’s one man, then he will always be outnumbered by the majority that is for it, no matter how extreme the law.

            Fucking hell.

        2. db, don’t you know a government budget interview isn’t like a household interview?

        3. “When you go to a job interview, expect to not be hired if you stonewall the employer’s questions.”

          I had phone interview this morning and got a bunch of stupid situational questions. I think I’d have been better off stonewalling. Q: “Describe a time you had to work with a challenging person and how you handled it”. A: I was on the phone the other day and this guy didn’t know his ass from the hole in the ground. I handled it by not driving to his work and stabbing him in the eye with a soldering iron. Now can we get back to my qualifications please.

          1. “I was once in an interview and they kept asking me stupid questions. I gave STEVE SMITH their home address.”

            1. Don’t you think having someone Rapesquatched to death, for a stupid question, is a bit extreme?

              1. Examples have to be made if anything is ever going to change. I consider my action to be tough, but fair.

                1. I consider my action to be tough, but fair.

                  So, lube will be provided then?

                  1. STEVE SMITH MAKE LUBE FROM FEAR!

      2. Brennan: So now you DON’T support “shall issue” CCW?

        Paul: No…I think that’s a different…

        Brennan: Well then I don’t know WHAT you want. What is it? “Shall Issue” or not? With due respect, Senator, it seems to me the problem here is YOU…

    2. When the issue at hand is the killing of American citizens I’m comfortable calling that an “extreme reason”.

      1. In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.-George Orwell

        We’re at that point I think. Apparently there’s only one guy in the Senate who thinks it is a problem that POTUS can just drone strike anyone he doesn’t like.

    3. I agree. He is pissing off Team Red and Team Blue.

      Keep up the good work, Rand.

      1. Might as well do it while he can. This might be his only term.

    4. I think the hope is that there are others who may have held these positions, but been afraid to let their freak flag fly. He wants to make a public spectacle out of it, in order to provide a rallying point for more small-gov’t minded people to come out of the shadows (and perhaps shame some of his colleagues who are already in power in the so-called party of small gov’t).

    5. Yes, well, someone has to say stop, please.

      1. “Fuck You, Cut Spending” still has a nice ring to it.

        1. Sure. And it’s “No, fuck you, cut spending.” People have been leaving out the “no” lately.

          And, of course, if speaking on the FCC airwaves, it’s “No, stupid, cut spending.”

          1. Ah, so noted. Don’t forget, I did translate to Russian, so His Pestilency will still understand it. I’m sure he will, as he seems entirely too comfortable with Communism.

            I forget the “No” because pols don’t know the meaning of the word (on so many levels). In fact, the only time I really remember any US President saying “No!” was Clinton pounding the lectern saying “No! No! No! No!”

            Also, have I done something to offend you?

            1. Me? Never! We are brothers in the Ichwan Bedwine!

              1. Whew! Ok. I had sent you something a while back and didn’t receive a reply; I thought maybe you doubted my Suk training and Imperial Conditioning. Safe enough even for an Emperor.-)

                1. I saw it–just been crazy busy with life and work lately. Oh, and commenting.

          2. And, of course, if speaking on the FCC airwaves, it’s “No, stupid, cut spending.”

            As usual, you fuck it all up. It’s “No, Mister Falcon, cut spending.”

            1. It’s not “No, Foxtrot you, cut spending”?

    6. I know I’ll get flamed for this,

      Well, as a rule when you follow that statement with something as retarded as what you wrote, you should expect to get flamed.

    7. Shorter Tulpa: Rand Paul should get in line with the rest of the good Republicans like Mitt Romney.

  6. Perhaps curtailing the illegal actions of a government barreling down the slippery slope is more important than going along to get along.

    1. Intended as a reply to Tulpa.

    2. I don’t see how this curtails anything.

      1. Might as well not do anything, then?

        1. STOP RESISTING!

        2. Is this the libertarian version of “DO SOMETHING!”?

          A confirmation to an executive branch office is a stupid issue to blow your wad on. And he will blow his wad on this, because it’s almost certain he’s going to have to back down now or get steamrolled by the rest of the Senate of both parties. The Dems only need 13 votes to overcome his block.

          1. Yeah,..Standing for your Principals Political grandstanding is for chumps. He needs to get with the program, and lay supine, for the sake of his political career. He’s not gonna get to grow old in office being an asshole. How politically myopic that fool Rand is.

  7. And how does he think this is going to end, anyway?

    1. He sheepishly backs down after making a spectacle of himself (like with the synth MJ)
    2. Brennan says yes
    3. Brennan says no
    4. The block is removed by 2/3 vote (I guarantee you the GOP will side with the Dems)

    I’d say #1 is most likely. Even #3 isn’t a big deal for the BO admin, since his opinion is nonbinding. If BO ever does drone a citizen within the US there’s going to be a shitstorm regardless of what Brennan said in the past. #4 would be humiliating for RandP and pretty much destroy his future with the party.

    1. Who gives a shit?

      If you’re going to lose no matter what might as well fight. What the hell would the point be in going along with it?

    2. Isn’t it better to take a shot at getting #2 or #3 than completely giving up altogether? What exactly should a man of principle do? Yes, at a certain point, political reality will dictate your actions, but that doesn’t mean you should cave into Washington culture from the outset. Is Washington really that hopeless to you that all politicians should simply say Fuck It and tow the lion?

      1. It’s toe the lion. Because he has a splinter in his toe.

        Other than that, +1 imperial warmonger.

        1. Are you breakin’ it down for us, entropy?

          *think about it…..*

          1. No no, don’t think about it.

            Feel man, feel.

          2. *think about it…..*

            There’s an older attorney at my office that sends out “Think about it…” emails once a week, with the typical inspirational quotation shit and a definition that he tries to use an an equally shitty inspirational message to EVERYONE in the company.

            I could understand sending it to the people directly under you, but how the hell does this non-partner guy have the authority to send this stupid shit to every single email in a 300+ person company??? He should think about my foot up his ass, is what he should think about.

            1. There is no block on our ALL email group where I work. I am so itching to fire that cannon.

    3. 5) slightly fewer citizens getting killed by executive fiat in the future?

    4. I agree with Tulpa. There’s not much upside to this move from a strategic standpoint.

      1. But there’s not much upside regardless.

      2. Rand Paul is not going to last long in the band of liars, thieves and jackanapes that is the GOP. He might as well sow a little chaos and point out that they stink of shit before they ban him from the clubhouse.

      3. Yeah, fuck principles and doing the right thing. What we need is strategy.

        It’s that kind of thinking that got Mitt Romney Obama in the White House after all.

        1. It’s a valid observation regardless of how it impacts anyone’s principles.

          And I for one see nothing wrong with being craftier in the application of liberty-friendly politics. It is not like anyone on this thread is saying that Rand should vote in favor of Brennan’s confirmation.

          1. It’s a valid observation regardless of how it impacts anyone’s principles.

            I would argue that making Brennen look like an idiot as he struggles to obfuscate Obama’s assassination policy is a good strategy regardless of whether or not he is ultimately confirmed. The fact that it’s in keeping with RP’s principles is just icing on the cake.

            1. The media won’t report on this, so that angle doesn’t work either.

              I’m not trying to condemn RandP here, I think his heart’s in the right place, but this is not smart politics.

  8. Mister Libertarian.
    Obama: Libertarian. Bonk bonk on the head. Bonk bonk! bonk bonk!
    Media: Bonk bonk! Bonk bonk!

    1. Little Foo Foo Media
      Hopping through the forest
      scooping up the libertarians
      and BOPPING them on the head.

      DOOOOOOOOOWNN came the Pelosi God Mother, and SHE said,

      Little Foo Foo Media
      I don’t wanna see you
      Failing to scoop up the libertarians
      and BOPPING ’em on the head.

      Or something…

      1. not enough weed

    2. I have no idea what this references, but it is making me laugh quite a bit.

        1. You’re not helping me confuse him more.

      1. Let me help clarify things for you.


        Does that help?

        1. “The content owner has not made this video available on mobile.”

          1. Star Trek: 1966, Episode Title Miri.

        2. This one should work:

          No more BLAH BLAH BLAH

  9. Sooooooo, we can expect to see Rand Paul being booked onto MSNBC and Bill Maher’s shitty show so those liberal champions can join him in pillorying the White House’s abuse of authority, right? Right?

    Fuck! There’s only one thing that pisses me off more than idiocy, and that’s hypocrisy.

    1. Hypocridiocy. It’s all the rage in DC these days.

    2. In fairness, everything pisses you off.

      1. Better to be pissed off than pissed on, I always say.

        1. Haha, last time I heard that a friend of mine responded with a very cavalier “not really” the first guy’s face was priceless.

      2. I have to admit, this made me laugh.

        1. I’m disappointed it didn’t piss you off


            1. I’ll accept this, doc, if it’s payback for the “cop beats his 1 year old baby to death” post from the AM Links. Otherwise, it just too much.

              BTW, we get word from our doc that they won’t let us do the consult in San Diego. They’re sending Baby Reason to Stanford instead. We go in 3 weeks.

      3. Speaking of piss, I’m listening to a Modern Scholar course on rhetoric, and the speaker mentioned a joke about editors only liking soup they’ve pissed in first. It’s some analogy about why they do what they do to author’s work.

        1. Authors’ works, that is.

        2. So, basically it’s like a written version of a New Yorker comic then?

        3. I first read that joke in Stranger in a Strange Land. Harshaw says something when one of the secretaries questions one of paragraphs to the effect of: “You have to leave something for the editors to change. Cooks like the flavor of the soup better after they’ve pissed in it.”

          1. I thought I’d heard it before–that must be it. Haven’t read that book in quite a long while.

    3. I saw where Maher and even Tina Brown, of all people, were saying if a Repub had done this, the left would be howling ‘impeachment.’

    4. Rand is literally killing democracy with this kind of stand. Obama won the election, therefore everything he wants to do is democratic and trying to stop him is evil. The highest form of patriotism is consent.

    5. Is hypocracy a word? No? Excellent, because I now deem it one. As in–

      hy?poc?ra?cy [hi-pok-ruh-see]

      1. a state of society characterized by a leadership made up entirely of hypocrites.

      1. Mike Judge should make a movie about that

        1. Sure. A sequel/not-a-sequel.

          1. Good news! They already have an oath that they can easily ignore. Something about doing no harm…

      2. I would prefer it if the leadership was made up entirely of hippopotamuses.

    6. Last time Rand got on MSNBC to talk about civil rights Rachel Maddow pushed his shit in, and she repeatedly invites him to return. Rand Paul won’t go back because he doesn’t want the bad lady to hurt him again.

      1. Aren’t you supposed to put PWNED or something like that after this comment? And without a link, any reasonable person would be skeptical of your bullshit claim.

        That said I remember him being on that show, and I remember him just destroying her in the debate segment and her mischaracterizing his statements and spouting unsubstantiated bullshit after he was off-air.

        Nice try, shit for brains.

        1. Why are you even talking to joe? He makes Banjos look like a giant.

          1. Did you just call my wife short? Or retarded?

            1. Maybe he got some bad wodka.

            2. Is she short? If so, how does the Suk know it?

        2. Uh, this event was covered on H+R several times. It happened right after he won the KY Senate primary. Rand let Maddow paint him into a corner and said he wouldn’t have voted for the Civil Rights Act had he been in Congress in 1964.

          Which is a perfectly good libertarian position but, as you know, one that the leftists can easily use to paint him as a racist because the public doesn’t think logically anymore.

  10. smoke and mirrors. If someone can look as ill-prepared and almost stupid as Hagel and still be confirmed, then no nominee can be stopped.

    1. Somewhere, Rpbert Bork’s ghost is crying gently

      1. Isn’t Bork still alive?

        1. Are you sitting down?

        2. No he died a few months ago.

          1. Way to stick it in dry. Now Trouser needs grief counseling.

    2. If someone can look as ill-prepared and almost stupid as Hagel and still be confirmed, then no nominee can be stopped.

      So you’re saying Tony has a future in DC?

  11. as the Republic dwindles to a shadow of its former self, one Senator still remains principled. Hoorah.

  12. Brennan promised that “if I were to be confirmed as director of CIA, I would get back to you.”

    Imagine you’re doing a job interview, and you’re asked about how you would handle a high-profile job function, and you answer “Well, if you give me the job, I’ll get back to you on that.”

    On what planet is that acceptable? What company would even consider giving you the job? Yet I will be shocked if that answer doesn’t turn out to be plenty good enough to get you the job of CIA Director.

    1. Dude, it’s not the CIA Director has a lot of power or anything. Why would you bother grilling the guy who is gonna take out the trash with all these tough questions on what kind of paper towel he’ll use if there is a trash spill?

      1. So why doesn’t he just say he’s Obama’s errand boy, and if they want to know the who, what, why of Obama’s kill orders, they should ask Obama?

        1. Well, obviously, you don’t throw the boss under a bus during an interview. Duh.

      2. Here are two reasons: The CIA operates a paramilitary organization within its Special Activities Division; we should expect trained assassins to be included in the lineup. Second, Barry’s new paper towel man will have also the power to shield CIA agents from justice.

        Now, you might object that the CIA is responsible for operations outside the United States, so there’s no reason for people inside the USA to fear its agents. But to where do you suppose a CIA agent goes upon completion of an assignment outside the USA? And whom is he or she still in contact with and taking orders from when back in the USA?

    2. Imagine you’re applying to be the secretary of defense and someone asks you publicly about classified material. On what planet would answering the question get you the job?

      1. Not sure. Unfortunately, these Senators all have security clearances required to be briefed in on this material and the hearings for those questions are behind closed doors. Thanks for playing.

        1. That’s correct, and another problem is that if you really shouldn’t expect to get far with Congress if you tell them it’s none of their business when they ask you questions.

          Our system would be in much better shape if Congress would have the balls to enforce its prerogatives. And not just now–every time, regardless of political party crap.

        2. FACT PWNED

      2. You can always count on the Derprider to suck authoritarian cock.

      3. You think the administration’s position on whether it’s legal to execute Americans in America without a trial, is legitimately considered classified material?

    3. It works for Supreme Court justices, doesn’t it?

  13. I’m blocking Sullum’s paycheck until I get answers. And by answers, I mean alt-text.

  14. Brennan’s reticence is not difficult to understand. First, he and the president might not agree about the president’s alleged authority to kill Americans at will. To disclose this fact would suggest confusion in the WH.

    Second, to answer yes would flirt with the possibility that Brennan and Obama have premediated murders to be carried out inside the USA. Brennan is already an advisor. He’s had lots of conversations with Obama and other insiders of the regime. So, he can be expected to know the president’s mind. Answering yes would thus bring the drone nut a little closer to impeachment proceedings and criminal prosecution. (Granted, Obama would likely not use a drone to carry out a domestic hit.)

    Third, Obama’s neofascistic stance, his dishonesty, and his malice are so palpable that Brennan may fear telling the truth even if it portrays them in a favorable light. After all, who other than Obama’s sympathizers would give them the benefit of the doubt? Here, too, silence suits their interests.

    Fourth, we already know from Obama’s words and behavior that Obama has no principled aversion to murdering people outside the territory of the USA. It just so happens that it’s difficult in such cases to hold him accountable for his actions. White House hits carried out inside the USA, however, would be easier to investigate and trace back to their source. So the regime would prefer not to motivate its enemies to look for evidence that the president’s serial killing is borderless.

    1. Brennan’s reticence is not difficult to understand.

      Of course its not. Just because its understandable doesn’t mean its acceptable.

  15. Brennan promised that “if I were to be confirmed as director of CIA, I would get back to you.”

    Need to know.

    Need to fucking know.

  16. I was on the phone the other day and this guy didn’t know his ass from the hole in the ground. I handled it by not driving to his work and stabbing him in the eye with a soldering iron.

    Aww, you ol’ softy, you!

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