It’s Not Just Hagel: Brennan Delayed, Too

Is Barack Obama’s preferred CIA director in real, Hagel-level trouble?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Senate Holds Nomination Hearing on John Brennan for CIA Director on February 7, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The furor over Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Defense Secretary has overshadowed another key national security nomination, that of John Brennan to be director of the CIA. It’s gone almost unnoticed today that the Senate Intelligence Committee postponed a vote on Brennan’s nomination that had been planned for Thursday. Is Barack Obama’s preferred CIA director in real, Hagel-level trouble?

Probably not. Democratic sources are confident that Brennan will be confirmed. The current delay comes because Republicans on the Intelligence committee have requested more information on—you guessed it—the September 11 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi. According to a source close to the process, discussions are underway to see whether the intelligence community can provide committee members with more information that might unclog the delay and allow for a vote on Brennan later this month. But the objections don’t come solely from within the committee. Yesterday Republican senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte announced that they will delay Brennan’s nomination—much as they have Hagel’s—if they don’t get an explanation of how and why intelligence community talking points produced in the aftermath of the attack were stripped of references to al Qaeda and “terrorism.” (Those would be the same talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice relied on in a round of television appearances that wound up sinking her chances to be Secretary of State.)

But if McCain and friends aren’t willing to support a full-blown filibuster of Hagel, it seems unlikely they’ll mount an all-out fight against Brennan. After all, the opposition to Hagel, though partly driven by the right’s Benghazi obsession, also involves substantive issues like Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran, not to mention the clumsy performance he gave at his January 31 confirmation hearing. Virtually none of the opposition to Brennan is about Brennan.  Even Rand Paul’s insistence on knowing whether the president has the power to drone an American on U.S. soil is about the views of administration lawyers, not Brennan himself.

(It’s worth noting that neither Obama nor Brennan have ruled out the drone-at-home scenario. “The rules outside of the United States are going to be different than the rules inside the United States,” Obama said yesterday, without offering details. In a new set of written answers for the Intelligence Committee, Brennan said only: “This Administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so.”)

Where would shooting down Brennan get Republicans anyway? Four years ago, Obama decided not to nominate Brennan to run the CIA after progressives raised alarms about his alleged complicity with Bush-era torture and detention practices. Brennan wound up becoming White House counterterror advisor–a White House staff position that likely has more policy influence than that of CIA director, and one not subject to congressional oversight. If Brennan is not confirmed, he’s expected to stay in his current job, right by the president’s side.

36 comments
drudown
drudown

It would be instructive to compare these GOP senators' prior inconsistent statements on the Bush Administration's appointees that were similarly "unduly held up"

by partisan politics. 

MarcusTaylor
MarcusTaylor

Here is the problem for the GOP and why their "White Base" is having a hissy-fit.

President Obama received 93% of the Black Vote.

President Obama received 71% of the Hispanic Vote.

President Obama received 73% of Asian Vote.

President Obama received 69% of Jewish Vote.

Obama and Romney basically split the White vote (Obama got the white female vote  and boy I bet that really "steams" you racists to no end).  So the GOP and Republican Party ARE FINISHED AND THESE COMMENTS BY THE POSTERS AND ACTIONS BY THE "HOUSE" ARE MERELY THE "LAST THROES OF A DYING POLITICAL MOVEMENT...

You guys are finished and you know it. Now go get a drink of water, sit down, and shut up!

BorisIII
BorisIII

It just another Republican temper tantrum, that they didn't get their way.

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

So now every nomination is a three-ring circus, like all other routine votes in Congress.


And while we're having a non-debate on people who are not objectionable, we are not talking about guns, immigration and the economy. Well done, GOP, you've finally brought the USA to a complete halt. [slow clap]


Is there any change this will be punished at the polls in 2014? Someone, please, reassure me that Americans are smart enough to throw these clowns out.

BlueberryT1
BlueberryT1

@AnnaMills1953 @TIMEPolitics So it turns out the GOP doesn't really care about national security; politics more important. (No surprise.)

RobertAnnable
RobertAnnable

I have never seen anything like this and it shows the whole Republican Party is controlled by Israel, AIPAC and it's Zionist neo-cons ( Kristol, Feith, Perle, Wolfowitz, and Abrams) which fabricated the lies to justify the Iraq War. Remember "yellowcake uranium" and "Saddams links to Al-Quadia"? In the hearings Israel was mentioned constantly. Also unprecedented has been the millions of dollars coming from Israel, AIPAC, and Zionist neo-cons to operate the Hagel smear campaign. We have Zionist neo-con Sheldon Adelson, who gave 160 million to Romney's campaign since Romney was Netanyahu's old friend and had already promised Netanyahu the US lead in a war with Iran. Now Adelson is pouring millions into the smear campaign. He also owns an Israeli newspaper that supports all of Netanyahu's and Likkud's racist polocies and funds the illegal settlements. Then we have Zionist neo-con Bill Kristol's AIPAC front, "Emergency Committee for Israel" pouring millions into the smear campaign and is running tv commercials against Hagel. The set-up of this group and who the doners are is hidden and it is likely money is coming directly from Israel and of course AIPAC members. This is totally unprecedented. It is clear the treasonous Republican Party is trying to give a foreign country veto power over a US President's choice for Defense Secretary since they also want another war. Sadly these traitors only care about the Zionist neo-cons and care nothing about the American Jews who voted 70% for Obama and support Hagel's nomination. They all deserve to end up in the trash heap of history.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Hagel....fine.  Stupid, but fine.  Leon Panetta can wait a while and he can run the agency competently while they screw around so it's not a disaster while this goes on.

But Brennan's trying to fill a vitally important position that's gone unfilled for 2 months.  Let the man through already

ZweiStein
ZweiStein

If I'm ever tempted to vote for a Republican again...please kick myass!

Sue_N
Sue_N

Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick. Just how much of this country's defense and intelligence are these clowns willing to knee-cap because of a frickin' grudge? Lindsey Graham has become everyone's crazy aunt, John McCain needs to retire and Kelly Ayotte is an idiot.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican Party.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Petulant-is there any other explanation for the continued behavior of the Senate's minority? 

MrObvious
MrObvious

So much for the excuse that it was because of Hagels performance.

The GOP twits have decided to call it quits on plausible reasoning. It's full bore partisan hackery.

TheDers
TheDers

glad to see the parties working together...

jgarrison2ster
jgarrison2ster

I say we leave all these positions unfilled until after Obama is out of office. Anybody he recommends cannot be good for America

DREGstudios
DREGstudios

Will we ever see bipartisan politics in our country again?  The fringe element within the Republican Party has pushed them all to the far right of the isle where they’ve gridlocked our government for two years now.  Will the next two be any different?  They’ve been very public about their main goal being to block and bamboozle the President’s every move.  It takes many hands to paint the Blackface on Obama.  See my visual report of his makeup session at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html

Olavetta
Olavetta

Once McCain and Graham found out Bo (the dawg) was not listed as being present at the screening of the OBL operations it became evident the holes in the story were incapable of substantiation without being corroborated by the Chilean Ambassador.  Her nonavailability was quickly seen as a smokescreen, similar to Obama's delay in producing the now discredited birth certificate, and thus supported Graham's ploy.

Gedge911
Gedge911

Texas' Senator (R) Ted Cruz has proof that John Brennan ate a falafel in Tehran in 1977. There must be some malfeasance in there somewhere.

ShoshoneCreek
ShoshoneCreek

Makes me so proud to be a Republican - NOT!


Where do I sign the papers to become a Democrat and pro-people and pro-USA....and anti-partisan politics and personal vendettas.


7 years ago Hagel pissed off his fellow Republicans for correctly opposing the surge.  If McCain had a brain he would have read the reports that the surge is not why the violence in Iraq diminished.....in fact, the US military had nothing to do with the fact the Sunnis and Kerds (war lords) settle territorial disputes.

DaleEff
DaleEff

Aw c'mon fellas, we're just playin'.  Nothin' serious. They're gonna be approved eventually.

TyPollard
TyPollard

Ah, the good ole days when Republicans cared about national security and the best interest of the United States and love of country trumped petty partisan politics.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

@Sue_N Okay. but how do you work with them after telling them that they are crazy?  We must coddle them as their world continues to blow away "... with the wind".  Plus they are armed to the teeth!  It's like trying to talk a suicidal person off the cliff and he/she is pointing several firearms at you.  They are apparently "prepping" to abandon the idea of, democracy by majority rule (as long as the majority isn't them!) They are buying guns almost as fast as they are inheriting them.  Eventually someone gets shot by them.  It's like they are stuck in a John Wayne movie and they are playing the role of Elvis.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jgarrison2ster And I say the American people have spoken. Why not act like adults and honor their wishes by allowing the president to have the people he wants.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@ShoshoneCreek I feel for you. Sincerely.

This country requires two governing parties; it's the only way our system works. But we require two sane governing parties – the party in power, and a reasonable, rational, loyal, mature opposition whose role is to keep the governing party in line. We dont have that.

We have one party (the Dems) trying to be adults and to actually govern. The other has devolved into a sulking, tantrum-throwing, ankle-biting, obstructionist bunch of three-year-olds intent on holding an entire country hostage to its perpetual sense of aggrievedness.

As a liberal Democrat, I wish the Republicans would grow up and get back to governing.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@Whatanotion @Sue_N Talk them off the ledge, hell. I say let them jump. We'll all be better off when they're gone.

drudown
drudown

@Sue_N @Whatanotion 

It is a counter-intutive strategy Rove and the GOP are pushing right now. On the one hand, they are making this hollow pitch to appeal to the growing Latino contingency but remain utterly fixated in the past, it seems- by propping up the latest figurehead presidential candidate (Rubio) that simply dispenses the same GOP policy talking points. At the same time, they are shortsighted enough to believe that the voting populace is going to make any meaningful distinctions between the "fringe" Tea Party ilk and the "mainstream" GOP which is, as is well known, is woven to serve Big Business, much as thread is sown into the finest silk.

Olavetta
Olavetta

@53_3 @Olavetta -- Interesting idea, being able to write something without knowing (reading) what it says.  I'll bite.  Yes, I read my own post.  Now what?  Do you know something about South American politics that I don't?

Olavetta
Olavetta

@La_Randy @Gedge911 @Olavetta Not so La_Randy.  Our honorable ambassador has served our Republic (what you call a country) loyally and with great dignity.  There are not no questions at all to be raised about her age (she is very old).