Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing

    Brennan

    President Obama’s nominee to run the CIA, John Brennan, forcefully defended Obama’s counterterrorism policies, including the increased use of armed drones and the targeted killings of American citizens during his confirmation hearing Thursday. "None of the central questions that should have been asked of John Brennan were asked in an effective way," says Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming book, "Dirty Wars." "In the cases where people like Sen. Angus King or Sen. Ron Wyden would ask a real question, for instance, about whether or not the CIA has the right to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, the questions were very good. Brennan would then offer up a non-answer. And then there’d be almost no follow-up." Scahill went on to say, "[Brennan] has served for more than four years as the assassination czar, and it basically looked like they were discussing purchasing a used car on Capitol Hill. I mean, it was total kabuki oversight. And that’s a devastating commentary on where things stand." [includes rush transcript]

  • CODEPINK Repeatedly Disrupts Brennan Hearing Calling Out Names of Civilians Killed in Drone Strikes

    Code_pink_protest

    Thursday’s confirmation hearing for CIA nominee John Brennan was briefly postponed to clear the room of activists from CODEPINK after they repeatedly disrupted Brennan’s testimony. One woman held a list of Pakistani children killed in U.S. drone strikes. Former U.S. diplomat Col. Ann Wright interrupted Brennan while wearing a sign around her neck with the name of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old Pakistani boy who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Wright and seven others were arrested. We speak to CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin, who also disrupted the meeting and recently visited Pakistan to speak with victims of drone strikes. "It’s not only the killing, it’s the terrorizing of entire populations, where they hear the drones buzzing overhead 24 hours a day, where they’re afraid to go to school, afraid to go to the markets, to funerals, to weddings, where it disrupts entire communities," Benjamin says. "And we are trying to get this information to our elected officials, to say, 'You are making us unsafe here at home,' to say nothing of how illegal, immoral and inhumane these policies are." [includes rush transcript]

  • "He Was The Agency": Ex-CIA Analyst Questions Brennan Claim He Couldn’t Stop Waterboarding, Torture

    Melvin_goodman

    CIA nominee John Brennan was repeatedly questioned about torture at his CIA confirmation hearing, including the use of waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques. He refused to say waterboarding was a form of torture, but said he has come to oppose the technique. Under George W. Bush, Brennan served as deputy executive director of the CIA and director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. "Remember, he was the cheerleader for some of these onerous policies, particularly renditions and extraordinary renditions. So, for John Brennan today to say he read the Senate committee intelligence report on torture and he learned things he never knew before and that he was shocked with what he learned, this is a case of incredible willful ignorance," says Melvin Goodman, former CIA and State Department analyst. [includes rush transcript]