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Brennan Confirmation Hearing: Time to Focus on Torture and Killing

Matthew Harwood,
Former Managing Editor,
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January 16, 2013

ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Chris Anders appeared on “UP with Chris Hayes” Sunday morning for a 40-minute, in-depth discussion of President Obama’s nomination of his counterterrorism advisor John Brennan to run the CIA.

Anders argued the Senate needs to determine whether Brennan implemented policies such as torture, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition during his time at the CIA during the Bush administration before deciding whether to confirm him to such a vital, and secretive, national security post.

During the Bush administration, Brennan served as chief-of-staff to Bush’s CIA Director and then as deputy executive director of the CIA. Since 2009, he has been the White House counterterrorism advisor, where he runs the targeted killing program.

When the president nominated Brennan last week, ACLU Washington Legislative Office Director Laura W. Murphy called on senators to use the confirmation hearing to get to the bottom of Brennan’s involvement with Bush-era torture policies as well as learn more about the Obama administration’s expanded “targeted killing” program.

“The Senate should not move forward with his nomination until all senators can assess the role of the CIA — and any role by Brennan himself — in torture, abuse, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition during his past tenure at the CIA, as well as can review the legal authorities for the targeted killing program that he has overseen in his current position,” Murphy said. “This nomination is too important to proceed without the Senate first knowing what happened during Brennan’s tenures at the CIA and the White House, and whether all of his conduct was within the law.”

Brennan’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee is slated for February 7.

Check out the interview with Chris Anders on UP With Chris Hayes:
Segment One
Segment Two
Segment Three
Segment Four

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