Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Mar 07 2013
I commend Senator Paul for holding the President accountable and his persistence in trying to get a simple question answered from the administration: “Do you believe that you have the legal authority to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil without due process?” It is without a doubt a question that deserves a clear and straightforward answer from this administration before we can move forward with the confirmation vote for the director of the CIA.
It is one of the reasons we are working to prevent the Senate Majority from ending debate on John Brennan’s confirmation until we get answers. This effort has been going on, and continues, on multiple fronts. While Senator Paul was pushing this on the floor, we were working behind the scenes to make sure we had the votes to sustain a filibuster if Majority Leader Reid tried to end it. And we are still working to ensure that we have the votes to block cloture until these questions can be answered.
Even prior to the beginning of his confirmation process, Mr. Brennan has been reluctant to provide specific information to lawmakers regarding the Obama Administration’s targeted strike program for the use of drones on suspected terrorists overseas. The lack of transparency, from the man who is widely known to be the chief architect of the program, is bothersome. His refusal to provide answers is not for a lack of knowledge, but is a continuation of the administration’s belief that it does not need to answer to the American people.
My concerns with Mr. Brennan go further than just the questions over President Obama’s targeted strike program.
We still have many unanswered questions about the Benghazi attack that happened under Mr. Brennan’s watch. To date, details about who knew what and when they knew it have been incredibly difficult to get from the administration. Mr. Brennan’s nomination should not move forward without those questions being answered.
Mr. Brennan has previously argued in favor of trying terrorists in civilian courts as opposed to treating them as enemy combatants. Additionally, he has argued in favor of closing Guantanamo Bay and bringing suspected terrorists to the U.S. for trial, a policy President Obama has pushed for since he was in the Senate. Will Mr. Brennan advocacy for this bad policy change as the director of the CIA?
Without these answers, I will vote against cloture, oppose Mr. Brennan’s confirmation and actively work to stop his nomination from moving forward. Until there is some accountability from the administration on these very important issues, our work to block Mr. Brennan’s confirmation will continue.