Last Updated:December 18 @ 08:11 am

Sen. Paul threatens hold on CIA pick over use of drones

By USA Today

Sen. Rand Paul told USA TODAY Wednesday that he is prepared to put a "hold" on John Brennan's nomination to head the CIA, and to filibuster it if necessary, until the administration responds to his questions about the use of drones in the United States.

The Kentucky Republican said he would do "whatever it takes" to block Brennan's confirmation until he directly answers whether American citizens legally can be killed by drone strikes within U.S. borders.

Paul accused Brennan of obfuscating on the issue when it was raised at confirmation hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. Paul on Sunday said he wouldn't vote for Brennan until the questions were answered, but he raised the stakes in an interview with Capital Download, a weekly video series on usatoday.com.

"He was asked a very specific question 'Can you kill an American with a drone in America?' And he refused to answer the question," Paul said. "I find that very, very worrisome (and) we're going to do whatever it takes to get the answer. Can the government, does the government, the president himself, claim the power to unilaterally kill an American in America without a trial?"

Brennan, a CIA veteran, has been the administration's senior counterterrorism official for the past four years. President Obama nominated him to succeed David Petraeus as head of the intelligence agency.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment on Paul's threat to delay confirmation.

Paul, a Tea Party favorite who was elected to the Senate in 2010, also said he was interested in running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. "We're thinking about it," he said. "I do want to be part of the national debate. I want to be part of deciding what the Republican message is and who the Republican leaders are."

He would be up for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Could he run for both? "There probably is a way that could be done, but we haven't finalized any plans," he said.

His father, former Texas congressman Ron Paul, sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012.

The senator said the GOP needed a stronger libertarian influence.

"I think the Republican Party is in danger of becoming a permanent minority party if we keep going in the same direction we are going," he said. "We're no longer competitive on the West Coast or in New England, but I think we could be with a little more of a libertarian bent."

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(c) Copyright 2013 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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4 Comments

  1. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    February 14, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    Go, Rand, Go! Also, ask Brennan about his conversion to islam while he was in the CIA stationed in Saudi Arabia, and how that would affect his ” War On Terrorism” as director.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      February 14, 2013 @ 9:24 am

      My God! I missed this little gem. He really did convert to Islam? If so, his is mentally unstable and a useful agent for Islam.

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  2. my04301933Comment by my04301933
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    FBI: “….President Barack Obama’s CIA nominee John Brennan converted to Islam between 1996 and 1999 when he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh.”

    Also…Paul is a sound candidate in the eyes and minds of so very many Patriots here in America…

    …who FEAR our country is being GIVEN AWAY to the Muslim cults by an equally dedicated Muslim, Obama.

    Dear America…we are in trouble, we are being RAPIDLY ENGULFED in becomaing a socialist, Muslim, dictatorship…

    …under Obama…AND IT MUST BE STOPPED!

    Paul is the first to stand up for AMERICA and place his vital parts on the table and CALL THEIR HAND…

    BRAVO!

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  3. lwessonComment by lwesson
    February 14, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    The issue of expanding Drones to killing inside the US has been finally exposed by Brennan via Rand Paul’s question, and Brennan’s refusal to answer.

    Where are the Liberals, where are the so called Conservatives on this issue?

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  4. Pingback: Sen. Rand Paul Prepared to Block John Brennan’s Nomination to CIA Over Domestic Drone Policy (Video) | The Penn Ave Post

  5. Pingback: Brennan Confirmation Vote Delayed Thanks To Senator Rand Paul (Video) « Nice Deb

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