Liveblogging John Brennan's Confirmation Hearings For CIA Director

by
Owen Poindexter
Drones? Torture? Grandstanding? I am liveblogging John Brennan's senate confirmation hearings for the post of CIA Director.

I will liveblog John Brennan's confirmation hearings to the CIA directorship. Hit refresh!

5:45 EST: Coats (R-IN) is up. I'm going to take a break from liveblogging the Brennan hearings unless things get really interesting. Thanks for tuning in!

5:43 EST: Wyden making a short speech on checks and balances. Trying to reach Brennan on this key issue.

Brennan: we will destroy that organization (Al Qaeda). Any member can surrender at any point.

Wyden: I don't stand down to anyone on fighting Al Qaeda.

5:40 EST: Wyden is up! This could be the big showdown over drone strikes.

Wyden asks if we should give people the opportunity to surrender first. Brennan says if you join Al Qaeda, you are at war with the U.S.

5:37 EST: Burr really wants to press Brennan on whether CIA interrogations saved lives. Didn't see Zero Dark Thirty, but this line of questioning from Burr, Chambliss is making me not like it. #LincolnForBestPicture

5:34 EST: Richard Burr (R-NC) is up.

"Terrible joke award to Sen. Burr: I see you are on your fourth glass of water and I don't want to be accused of waterboarding you."

5:33 EST: Rockefeller basically lets Brennan make a one minute stump speech.

5:30 EST: Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is up. Starts with some very kind words for Brennan. Would love for Brennan's thoughts to also be liveblogging.

5:29 EST: After Clinton and Hagel, this confirmation hearing looks positively jovial.

5:27 EST: Not unfriendly, but weird tack by Chambliss, now asking Brennan about the Bin Laden mission. I think he's going for a Zero Dark Thirty torture justification, but not sure.

Brennan equivocates on that line of questioning. Chambliss: "Fair enough."

5:24 EST: Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia and Vice Chairman, is up.

Back to Benghazi! #GOP

5:23 EST: Feinstein using her "questions" to make case for drone strikes. Surprise winner of the "using fake questions to make a point award."

5:19 EST: Senator (and Chair) Feinstein is up.

Feinstein wants Brennan to justify the Aulaki killing, not so much to her as to the rest of the American public so that they'll get behind this drones-killing-Americans things. I'm still not into the drones-killing-Americans thing.

5:18 EST: Brennan: Americans get more due process because that's what we do here (paraphrasing)

5:16 EST: Brennan using "that's certainly worthy of discussion," the way people say "can I help you?" when they want you to shut up or stop.

5:13 EST: King: We need to [figure out] where the Department of Defense ends and where the CIA begins. Brennan responds that, yes, we don't want redundancies, King is referring to drones.

King going after drone strikes, brings up constitutional right to life, liberty and pursuit of law. King suggests a "FISA court type process...I understand you can't have co-commanders in chief, but having the executive being the judge, jury and executioner is very problematic."

5:12 EST: Angus King, Independent of Maine is up. Thanks Brennan for his stamina.

5:05 EST: Heinrich of New Mexico is up.

Heinrich pushing for release of drone drafts. Glad this is getting such focus now.

Heinrich seems like a really nice guy.

5:10 EST: Brennan: CIA "can be insular...CIA needs to play a part in this larger role [as part of the intelligence community]"

GOP should cede their time to Heinrich, he gets Brennan to talk at length about things.

5:02 EST: Collins has been watching the Daily Show! Asks Brennan about why torture memos released right away, drone strike drafts released reluctantly. Brennan says apples and oranges (because we are no longer torturing, still drone striking).

5:00 EST: More points for Collins: she asks about how drone strikes are undermining are credibility abroad. Brennan responds that "that is something we have to be very mindful of...we have to take that into account...but what we have found is that people are being held hostage by Al Qaeda in some of these areas...they have welcomed U.S. intervention."

4:58 EST: Collins rightly ties targeted killings to Obama admin. Brennan affirms (questionably) that no one targeted could have been captured. Hmmm...

4:56 EST: Susan Collins (R-Maine) is up.

Targeted killings comes up right away.

4:55 EST: Brennan: The Arab Spring "didn't lend itself to traditional methods of [gathering intelligence]"

Warner keeps it friendly and vague.

4:48 EST: Sen. John Warner of Virginia is up.

Warner focusing on accountability and how to handle budget cuts. Clear party difference from Rubio's line of questioning.

4:46 EST: Brennan getting dignified/testify with Rubio's Benghazi questions.

Rubio made case for keeping Guantanamo open. Gitmo is really close to Rubio's Florida.

4:40pm EST: Marco Rubio manages to bring things back to Benghazi. I think we'll be hearing about Benghazi until, say, first Wednesday in Novemmber, 2016.

Carbonated.TV