Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just announced that he’ll be placing a hold on the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director until he receives answers to his questions about the administration’s use of drones.
“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,” Paul said.
“These issues must be discussed openly so that the American people can understand what constraints exist on the government’s power to use lethal force against its citizens,” he continued. “Before confirming Mr. Brennan as the head of the CIA, it must be apparent that he understands and will honor the protections provided to every American by the Constitution.”
Paul sent letters to Brennan on Jan. 25 and Feb. 12 asking a long list of questions about the drone program. “Answering these most basic of questions—especially those dealing with the power of the federal government to kill its own citizens under secret authorizations never to be seen by the public—is a necessary step in the examination of our conduct around the globe, the protection of our Constitutional rights and our values, as well as your suitability to oversee these priorities as the Director of the CIA,” he wrote in the earlier letter.
In the second letter, Paul added even more questions in the wake of Brennan’s nomination hearing.
“Before you are confirmed to head the CIA, it must be apparent that you understand and will honor the protections provided to every American by the Constitution. For that reason, I request again that you answer the questions I have submitted, both in this letter and the one before it, and I will object to all unanimous consent requests relating to your nomination until you have done so,” he said.