Video at link, some transcript below:
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: During his confirmation hearing Thursday, President Obama’s nominee to run the CIA, John Brennan, forcefully defended the
president’s counterterrorism policies, including the increased use of armed drones and the targeted killings of American citizens. He also refused
to say that waterboarding was a form of torture, and he admitted that he did not try to stop waterboarding while he was a top CIA official under
President George W. Bush.
Four years ago, Brennan was a rumored pick for the CIA job when Obama was first elected, but he was forced to withdraw from consideration amid
protests over his public support for the CIA’s policies of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" and extraordinary rendition
How can a man who so openly despised Bush's administration continue to appoint people that supported Bush's Policies?
AMY GOODMAN: The start of Brennan’s confirmation hearing had to be temporarily halted following repeated interruptions by protesters. Members of
the group CODEPINK began standing up one by one to condemn Brennan’s role in the drone war, much to the chagrin of Senate Intelligence Committee
Chair Dianne Feinstein.
I love to see CODEPINK making some noise, the woman yelling, who was escorted out and later arrested along with 6 other members of CODEPINK, is:
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That CODEPINK protester interrupting John Brennan was retired Army colonel and former diplomat Ann Wright, who oversaw the
reopening of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan in 2001 as deputy chief of mission. When she interrupted Brennan, she was 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. The sign she held up read, "Brennan equals
drone killing." Ann Wright and seven others were arrested. John Brennan later addressed the protesters as he defended the drone program.
I kind of like what Brennan said next, not because I agree but because it makes you stop and think for a minute, or at least it should, about why we
Americans might be confused it also makes you question how true what he says is.
JOHN BRENNAN: I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people, who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past
transgressions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there’s no other alternative
to taking an action that’s going to mitigate that threat. So, we need to make sure that there is understanding, and the people that were standing up
here today, I think they really have a misunderstanding of what we do as a government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to
make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths. And as the chairman said earlier, the need to be able to go out and say that publicly
and openly, I think, is critically important, because people are reacting to a lot of falsehoods that are out there.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined via Democracy Now! videostream by Jeremy Scahill, producer and writer of the documentary, Dirty Wars:
The World is a Battlefield, which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival. His book, Dirty Wars, goes on sale in April. He’s national
security correspondent for The Nation, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army and Democracy Now!
Jeremy, welcome to Democracy Now! Your assessment of what it is that John Brennan said yesterday and the questions he was asked?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, you know, if you—if you look at what happened yesterday at the Senate Intelligence Committee, I mean, this is kabuki
oversight. This was basically a show that was produced by the White House in conjunction with Senator Feinstein’s office. I mean, the reality
was—is that none of the central questions that should have been asked of John Brennan were asked in an effective way. In the cases where people like
Senator Angus King or Senator Ron Wyden would ask a real question, for instance, about whether or not the CIA asserts the right to kill U.S. citizens
on U.S. soil, the questions were very good. Brennan would then offer up a non-answer.
If watch the video you can see how true what Scahill says is. 100% Softball.