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Sen. Wyden Grills CIA Director Nominee John Brennan

Sen. Ron Wyden questioned the President’s nominee for CIA director Thursday. Their exchange focused on how the Obama administration views the legal justifications for deadly drone strikes.

John Brennan hearing.

John Brennan hearing.


Wyden has been urging the President to give the committee the full legal analysis and rationale for targeted killings of American citizens. He grilled Brennan about all overseas lethal strikes, including those against foreign enemies. Wyden noted the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden marked one acknowledged example of an authorized lethal CIA mission. Here’s part of their exchange:

Ron Wyden: “I want to hear you say that if these authorities have been used in any other countries, you’ll provide this committee with the full list. Will you give us that assurance?”

John Brennan: “You’re talking about a historical list, are you not?”

Ron Wyden: “Yes.”

Sen. Ron Wyden

Sen. Ron Wyden


John Brennan: “I would have to go back and look at that request. Certainly, if I were to go to CIA and the CIA was involved in any type of lethal activity I would damn well make sure this committee had that information. Absolutely.”

Ron Wyden: “That’s a good start.”

Brennan’s testimony was interrupted repeatedly by protestors speaking out against drone attacks.

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