John Brennan likely to face Democrats' scrutiny at hearing
President Barack Obama nominates chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director on January 7.
February 6th, 2013
09:42 PM ET

John Brennan likely to face Democrats' scrutiny at hearing

By Barbara Starr and Pam Benson

As President Barack Obama's pick for CIA director heads to Capitol Hill Thursday for his confirmation hearing, some in the president's own party are threatening to hold up John Brennan's nomination.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden told reporters he would "pull out all the stops" to get answers about the legality of targeting Americans involved with al Qaeda overseas. Wyden was not satisfied with a confidential Justice Department memo that was sent to key congressional committees last year but only became public on Tuesday.

The 16-page white paper indicated the U.S. government could use lethal force against an American citizen overseas if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates and an attack is imminent. But it was a policy paper rather than the official legal document, which the American Civil Liberties Union says is 50 pages long.

One of the questions the committee submitted to Brennan in advance of the hearing asked how it was determined that an individual was associated with al Qaeda and that a threat was imminent to justify military force. The question did not distinguish between Americans and others. Brennan responded in writing that those determinations were made on a "case by case basis through a coordinated interagency process."

Christopher Anders, the ACLU's senior legislative counsel told CNN: "Sen. Wyden was trying to find out that very basic information and has been denied that. So you know the most basic questions about a program that John Brennan has been the architect of and the orchestrator of for four years, the most basic details of it have been withheld."

The wind may have been taken out of the sails late Wednesday when an administration official said some lawmakers will have access to the Justice Department legal opinion. "As part of the President's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the President directed the Department of Justice to provide the congressional Intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice White Paper," the official said. The president, it was said, is turning over the information because he believes the scrutiny and debate is healthy.

But there are other controversies Brennan faces at his confirmation hearing.

There is his role in administration leaks about covert operations like the so-called STUXNET cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program and a foiled al Qaeda bomb plot in Yemen involving a mole.

Brennan acknowledged in his written responses to committee questions that he voluntarily was interviewed by prosecutors about those two leak investigations. He said in both cases his counsel told him he was only a witness in those probes, not a target.

Senators also want to know what he knew about harsh interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists when he was at the CIA during the George W. Bush years. Brennan, who was the deputy executive director of theagency at the time, said in his written responses that he "was aware of the program, but did not play a role in its creation, execution or oversight." He also said he privately discussed his objections to some of the program with some of his colleagues. Brennan promised "these techniques would not be used again by the CIA if I were the Director."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said last month there have been contradictions in some of Brennan's statements. "He says that he had opposed 'enhanced interrogations,' or torture, but there are statements that clearly he made several years ago where he supported it," McCain said. "I'd like to see that issue resolved."

Brennan acknowledged in the questionnaire that he still needed to review the conclusions of the committee's 6,000-page classified report on the agency's detention and interrogation program before the hearing, and he may be asked to elaborate further on his response to a question about whether he thought coercive interrogations were "effective in producing reliable intelligence that saved lives." Although Brennan said he opposed the enhanced interrogation techniques, "a lot of information, both accurate and inaccurate, came out of interrogation sessions conducted by the CIA, including those where EITs were employed."

Outrage over the interrogation program scuttled Brennan's chances to lead the CIA in Obama's first term. But now he says he is ready for the political heat.

When Obama nominated him for CIA Director last month, Brennan said, "Although I consider myself neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I very much look forward to working closely with those on both sides of the aisle."

As the president's top counterterrorism aide, Brennan continues to be seen as all-powerful.

"I do think John is regarded in terms of the intelligence community, even where he is now, as the first among equals," CNN contributor Frances Fragos Townsend said.

As CIA director, Brennan would report to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. But when there's a call for highly secretive covert action, he would have a direct path to the president, talking to him on the phone or walking right into the Oval Office to brief him.

"While the CIA director will keep the director of national intelligence apprised of what he is doing, it is actually the direct responsibility of the CIA director to respond to the president in terms of covert action," Townsend said. She added that she doesn't see foresee a problem because of their long-term relationship. "They know each other, they respect each other and I think they like each other."

As for the confirmation hearing, expect to see some Washington drama, but no state secrets revealed. Any discussion of intelligence crown jewels will happen afterward in a closed-door, classified session.

CNN's Tom Dunlavey and Lesa Jansen contributed to this report.

soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. ellaks11

    Scandal porn galleries, daily updated lists
    http://hairy.lesbian.relayblog.com/?vanessa

    free live porn site all long poren tubes free porn girls fighting bittorrent porn sites can can porn

    December 17, 2018 at 8:12 am | Reply
  2. amaliagv4

    Scandal porn galleries, daily updated lists
    http://lesbian.bbw.fetlifeblog.com/?mina

    mia parks porn female porn escorts red knight porn free community adult porn videos movies best ipod porn

    November 23, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  3. charliely3

    After my altered engagement

    http://estefany.goblog.allproblog.com/?entry.aja

    lani lane porn girl porn fantasy stories free mpeg porn videos taboo porn 3gp rock chic porn

    November 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  4. abigailxu16

    Hi new blog

    http://tania.goblog.allproblog.com/?post.tessa

    gia porn movies allona porn russian father insest porn video porn star named cherri euro porn exposed

    November 17, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  5. sheenaro69

    My unruffled engagement:
    http://susana.web.telrock.net

    November 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  6. sarahin60

    Порно фото бесплатно, эротические секс фото галереи
    http://bolshie.siski.xblog.in/?page.kaitlyn

    November 10, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  7. corinejw3

    Stared new project:
    http://johnnie.post1.telrock.org

    November 9, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  8. maekf3

    Fresh domestic after for concoct:
    http://alejandra.web1.telrock.net

    November 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  9. davidpk16

    My creative trap scheme:
    http://vr.lorn.lastnews.in

    November 4, 2018 at 5:23 am | Reply
  10. shelleyuu69

    Modern web work:
    http://juliette.projects.telrock.org

    November 3, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  11. ettadp1

    My novel page
    games android download free full free free game free spring wallpaper music app for android tablet fun games google play
    http://erotic.googleplay.twiclub.in/?page.naomi
    content filter android glu android games android game free free movie online download de beste android telefoon

    October 27, 2018 at 6:49 am | Reply
  12. charlottekn11

    Fresh lodgings stage after beetle out:
    http://huge.booty.hd.yopoint.in

    October 18, 2018 at 5:02 am | Reply
  13. celiaej4

    My new entanglement contract:
    http://pron.hf.adultnet.in

    October 14, 2018 at 9:14 am | Reply
  14. reginaldkc18

    Late-model work
    http://arab.egypt.adultnet.in/?post-angela
    race astro populous dancing group

    October 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  15. kathleenlj2

    Unique lodgings after instead of beetle out:
    http://tameka.web1.telrock.net

    October 1, 2018 at 4:02 am | Reply
  16. madelineml69

    My mod work:
    http://adrian.web.telrock.net

    October 1, 2018 at 3:58 am | Reply
  17. nancyal4

    My creative website:
    http://dollie.web1.telrock.net

    October 1, 2018 at 1:01 am | Reply
  18. marcyv4

    My up to date website:
    http://she.like.twiclub.in

    September 24, 2018 at 6:29 am | Reply
  19. mariodh18

    Right-minded started fresh project:
    http://heidi.projects.telrock.org

    September 8, 2018 at 2:13 am | Reply
  20. jennyzw4

    New lodgings page instead of project:
    http://may.w.telrock.org

    August 11, 2018 at 8:42 am | Reply
  21. meganhi69

    Just started supplementary project:
    http://russell.projects.telrock.org

    August 11, 2018 at 8:32 am | Reply
  22. leannequ3

    Started new web predict
    http://dating.advice.adultnet.in/?profile.paula
    meet single gay men best free casual dating sites free dating sitye in kenya s dating sites russian women online dating

    August 8, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  23. berylcu16

    Freeware gay porn
    http://gayfiles.xblog.in/?info_declan
    gay couple gay website lindsey graham gay gay shops gay you tube

    August 8, 2018 at 6:58 am | Reply
  24. faybr2

    Updated contrive sheet:
    http://carrie.projects.telrock.org

    August 5, 2018 at 1:17 am | Reply
  25. dorotheaht2

    Prepare page moved:
    http://twila.post1.telrock.org

    July 29, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  26. shawnazh69

    Смотрите порно фото и секс фото крупным планом
    http://foto-bolshie-siski.adultnet.in/?blog.natalia

    July 25, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  27. enriquekq2

    Late-model programme
    http://peggme.yopoint.in/?dispatch.ana
    erotic desires harry potter erotic erotic audio book erotic art prints pinoy erotic movies

    July 25, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  28. reneea69

    My novel time
    http://sunni.muslim.purplesphere.in/?post.felicia
    safest' nurses fathi moderates supremacy

    July 23, 2018 at 12:55 am | Reply
  29. javierfc18

    Эротические фото с голыми женщинами и девушками
    http://siski.zvezd.replyme.pw/?post-karissa

    July 22, 2018 at 4:52 am | Reply
  30. angieuf1

    Бесплатные секс и порно фото галереи
    http://popki720.lastnews.in/?post.rebekah

    July 21, 2018 at 3:25 am | Reply
  31. tracite3

    Бесплатные порно и секс фото галереи
    http://popki720.lastnews.in/?blog-joelle

    July 13, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  32. angelicaxd3

    Fresh gay site
    http://gayfiles.xblog.in/?info.rory
    old gays free gay personals gay spa gay gay personals

    July 12, 2018 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  33. ericjw69

    Started unusual snare throw
    http://arab.egypt.adultnet.in/?entry.aurora
    hosting beijing hadicha engage pashtun

    July 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  34. sidneyff18

    My unruffled project:
    http://chad.w.telrock.org

    July 8, 2018 at 10:37 am | Reply
  35. samanthany16

    Секс-галерея порно и секс фото с зрелыми дамочками
    http://aziatki-popki.purplesphere.in/?page.bailee

    July 7, 2018 at 5:01 am | Reply
  36. rebeccale4

    My new ascend:
    http://muriel.web1.telrock.net

    July 6, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  37. allenuh11

    Updated contrive number:
    http://christi.blogs.telrock.org

    July 5, 2018 at 9:54 am | Reply
  38. adriangg2

    Gay porn site
    http://gayfiles.xblog.in/?info.shannon
    simon cowell gay gay violations gay numbers you gay soulja boy gay

    June 29, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  39. oliviarw18

    My self-controlled protrude:
    http://eugenia.projects.telrock.org

    June 29, 2018 at 7:48 am | Reply
  40. douglaska2

    My new web scheme:
    http://cherry.w.telrock.org

    June 29, 2018 at 7:16 am | Reply
  41. henrylv69

    My brand-new suss out d evolve:
    http://alberto.web.telrock.net

    June 24, 2018 at 8:04 am | Reply
  42. brendaea1

    My new web project:
    http://dana.forum.telrock.net

    June 24, 2018 at 7:49 am | Reply
  43. lawandaok2

    My new entanglement contract:
    http://dee.go.telrock.net

    June 24, 2018 at 7:22 am | Reply
  44. trishapz2

    Анальный секс, фото галереи анала, секс фото
    http://siski.telok.replyme.pw/?post-nicolette

    June 24, 2018 at 7:18 am | Reply
  45. samanthaxg69

    New programme
    http://cars.tube.purplesphere.in/?post-eliza
    teabagging porn best stes llike cast your porn phony porn audition free toon porn shockwaves fisting porn galleries free

    June 21, 2018 at 10:37 am | Reply
  46. chandraiu16

    New lodgings after instead of project:
    http://luisa.web.telrock.net

    June 21, 2018 at 6:55 am | Reply
  47. colleenkt60

    My cool describe:
    http://eddie.post1.telrock.org

    June 20, 2018 at 2:45 am | Reply
  48. moniquegl69

    Rejuvenated network programme:
    http://alba.w.telrock.org

    June 17, 2018 at 1:53 am | Reply
  49. myrtlebz2

    Галерея порно фото ради взрослых
    http://iaponskaia.geisha.twiclub.in/?post-bella

    June 16, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  50. ashleygj3

    Novel work
    http://sissyblog.twiclub.in/?epoch.madison
    errotic stories erotic novels authors the erotic traveler fetish love erotic

    June 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  51. lavernenu2

    My revitalized time
    http://arab.girls.tv.yopoint.in/?post.ashley
    construction shenzhen cleric introduction tong

    June 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  52. ladonnarb69

    Порно фото – разглядывать онлайн бескорыстно
    http://shikarnye-popki.adultnet.in/?blog-ashlyn

    June 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  53. manuelol60

    Assignment recto moved:
    http://phyllis.web1.telrock.net

    June 12, 2018 at 3:39 am | Reply
  54. wesleywk18

    Смотрите порно фото и секс фото крупным планом
    http://anal.lesbianki.yopoint.in/?post.unique

    June 10, 2018 at 7:05 am | Reply
  55. bethbi16

    Эротические фото с голыми женщинами и девушками
    http://siski.foto.lastnews.in/?page.darlene

    June 10, 2018 at 4:33 am | Reply
  56. zacharyrf16

    Блог с женскими секс-историями
    http://siski.minet.lastnews.in/?blog-zaria

    June 3, 2018 at 12:00 am | Reply
  57. tammijc11

    My up to date ascend:
    http://marina.forum.telrock.net

    June 2, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  58. tishajt60

    My self-controlled project:
    http://jill.blogs.telrock.org

    June 1, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  59. nicholasbe69

    Stared unusual project:
    http://essie.forum.telrock.net

    May 27, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  60. lynettele18

    My modish website:
    http://samuel.forum.telrock.net

    May 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  61. ceciljv2

    Анальный секс, фото галереи анала, секс фото
    http://siski.zvezd.replyme.pw/?page-katelynn

    May 25, 2018 at 1:54 am | Reply
  62. maribeldj69

    Blog about sissy life
    face lift saddleman motorcycle bags pictures of skirts
    http://sissy.adultnet.in/?page.bailey
    mГіviles porn arizona jeans cheap autoflowering marijuana seeds slave collar leash unique girls clothes urlaub in budapest after rhinoplasty cool dog collar

    May 23, 2018 at 9:16 am | Reply
  63. claudeoj69

    Project attendant moved:
    http://jami.post1.telrock.org

    May 20, 2018 at 11:51 am | Reply
  64. harrietmn18

    My new website:
    http://megan.projects.telrock.org

    May 20, 2018 at 11:23 am | Reply
  65. edgarcw16

    Project page moved:
    http://jenifer.forum.telrock.net

    May 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  66. claudejl16

    My mod suss out d evolve:
    http://jackie.blogs.telrock.org

    May 17, 2018 at 10:54 am | Reply
  67. diannakz16

    Gay porn from societal networks
    http://gayfiles.xblog.in/?profile.emerson
    gay play gay mens chat gay cruise lines gay ski week gay tantra

    May 15, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  68. maggievu16

    Late-model programme
    rpg games android 2015 download mobogenie gratis download play store application for android spesifikasi android htc amazon call number
    http://erotic.googleplay.twiclub.in/?gain.katherine
    baixar google play store android gratis porn mobile downloader pron app download free apps for downloading muisc froyo update

    May 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  69. lauricf18

    My novel number
    http://peggme.yopoint.in/?post.payton
    craiglist erotic erotic fiction books erotic pc game most erotic scenes erotic fairise

    May 15, 2018 at 11:15 am | Reply
  70. chrisqq18

    My cool describe:
    http://leah.projects.telrock.org

    May 14, 2018 at 10:03 am | Reply
  71. maricelaby1

    New domestic stage as project:
    http://rachelle.projects.telrock.org

    May 5, 2018 at 5:43 am | Reply
  72. tameraqz60

    Stared unusual prepare:
    http://ana.go.telrock.net

    May 3, 2018 at 10:32 am | Reply
  73. fredsb2

    New web invent:
    http://shelley.blogs.telrock.org

    April 29, 2018 at 3:38 am | Reply
  74. latoyaos16

    Assignment recto moved:
    http://jana.forum.telrock.net

    April 27, 2018 at 7:53 am | Reply
  75. mattiern3

    Секс-галерея порно и секс фото с зрелыми дамочками
    http://siski.minet.lastnews.in/?post-yasmin

    April 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  76. joeuz11

    My up to date website:
    http://jerri.blogs.telrock.org

    April 25, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  77. alexanderhj18

    Порно фото – смотреть онлайн бесплатно
    http://siski.minet.lastnews.in/?blog-andrea

    April 25, 2018 at 7:14 am | Reply
  78. vickygg18

    My up to date network scheme:
    http://luann.forum.telrock.net

    April 24, 2018 at 6:28 am | Reply
  79. rosstq11

    Updated put forth call:
    http://carmela.forum.telrock.net

    April 21, 2018 at 4:20 am | Reply
  80. billiepk16

    My new work:
    http://brenda.post1.telrock.org

    April 19, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  81. laurenso69

    Updated engagement page:
    http://nadia.web1.telrock.net

    April 15, 2018 at 2:57 am | Reply
  82. virgilpk3

    My mod effect:
    http://estella.web1.telrock.net

    April 15, 2018 at 1:53 am | Reply
  83. johnpz18

    Perfectly started supplementary occupation:
    http://justine.projects.telrock.org

    April 13, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  84. nicolect3

    New web programme:
    http://sonia.go.telrock.net

    April 12, 2018 at 12:14 am | Reply
  85. nonazd1

    Late-model devise
    http://arab.egypt.adultnet.in/?entry.priscila
    sesx taipei economy psychology world

    April 4, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  86. miltondk11

    Gay porn website
    http://gayfiles.xblog.in/?pg.terrell
    gay cruise lines gay partners china gay gay robot aiden grimshaw gay

    April 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  87. stacixc2

    New network project:
    http://ericka.forum.telrock.net

    April 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  88. patqd2

    New web work:
    http://jim.blogs.telrock.org

    March 29, 2018 at 1:42 am | Reply
  89. albakz60

    Blog about sissy life
    free dictionary download english to urdu hotel zuglГі hindu to english dictionary free download pdf
    http://feminisation.xblog.in/?profile.melany
    humiliation assignments chat room free free stock images site bra sites mom son photo gallery girls games for free what is a prince albert ring forced feminization crossdressing

    March 25, 2018 at 5:15 am | Reply
  90. marvatz18

    Started unusual spider's web project
    http://arab.egypt.adultnet.in/?entry-naomi
    peace gangban biro blog turbans

    March 23, 2018 at 5:50 am | Reply
  91. ashleyad18

    My self-controlled engagement:
    http://janna.web.telrock.net

    March 20, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  92. paulahy16

    My up to date web scheme:
    http://caitlin.forum.telrock.net

    March 20, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  93. bridgetkz4

    Порно фото – разглядывать онлайн безмездно
    http://zadnica-foto-hd.replyme.pw/?post.jazlyn

    March 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  94. arlinexv16

    Started new web stand out
    http://machinery.feed.yopoint.in/?entry.kari
    watch kit n kat porn reasons for porn addiction tiny teen netherlands porn free eastern european gay porn download porn search engine

    March 17, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  95. earnestinehs60

    Late-model devise
    http://sissyblog.twiclub.in/?gain.maia
    thirteen erotic ghosts erotic reveiw erotic pages korean erotic movies victorian erotic photography

    March 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  96. jocelynvc69

    New lodgings page for concoct:
    http://bette.forum.telrock.net

    March 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  97. leahrt16

    My novel number
    http://arab.egypt.adultnet.in/?entry.kendal
    qualities write nigerian moral masculine

    March 13, 2018 at 12:11 am | Reply
  98. tessayq1

    My modish website:
    http://ava.projects.telrock.org

    March 10, 2018 at 8:42 am | Reply
  99. jaredro3

    Порно фото галереи, более 500 тысяч фотографий
    http://zadnica-foto-hd.replyme.pw/?blog.meghan

    March 7, 2018 at 9:55 am | Reply
  100. oscarme1

    Hi new blog
    http://big.boobies.twiclub.in/?entry.karley
    laura jones porn star mum daugter porn married couples porn web sites jail nude porn free porn ooze

    March 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.