CODEPINK Outraged Over Brennan Confirmation, Activists Press for Public Hearings and Access to Legal Opinions
The CODEPINK team expresses its deepest regrets that the Senate Intelligence Committee has proceeded to confirm John Brennan as the next director of the CIA today, given that he has been the mastermind of lethal drone warfare that has led to many civilian deaths and undermined the US reputation around the world. We applaud the successful efforts of the committee to gain access to the legal opinions regarding the targeted killing of Americans overseas for their own review, but we believe these opinions should also released to all Congressional representatives and most importantly, to the public.
CODEPINK has been vocal both on the streets and inside Senate offices, calling for public access to information regarding the CIA’s use of drone warfare. CODEPINK delivered over 5,000 signatures to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Leahy (D-VT), Attorney General Eric Holder and Chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). We believe that the public is clamoring for access to the government’s legal justifications for the targeted killing of American citizens.
CODEPINK also urges the Committee to continue to hold John Brennan, the CIA and President Obama accountable not only for the strikes targeting U.S. citizens, but also those resulting in civilian casualties globally. Brennan remarked in his confirmation hearing that “American citizens by definition are due much greater due process than anybody else by dint of their citizenship.” CODEPINK believes that the Committee must not accept this reasoning as an excuse to ignore the killing of non-American civilians by drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, among other countries. While Brennan said in the hearing that the US government should publicly acknowledge when it kills civilians by mistake, he has refused to do so.
Another reason CODEPINK has opposed John Brennan’s confirmation is that he has overseen the expansion of the drone program to include drone bases throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and now Africa. Bases in countries like Saudi Arabia antagonize the Muslim community and could lead to another attack on US soil.
John Brennan’s nomination will soon go to the entire Senate for confirmation. “The confirmation of John Brennan will ensure that the US drone program—in the hands of the unaccountable CIA–will continue to wreak havoc on the lives of many innocent people overseas, recruit more extremists and foster more anti-American sentiment,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin.