February 8, 2013
The consensus thinking appears to be that John Brennan will be confirmed as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, despite what was a rather long and at times arduous and challenging hearing this week. There have been a lot of questions this week on Capitol Hill about drones and cyber warfare and torture, and Senators were just determined to get some of these issues out in the open. They’ve been very frustrated running against a wall of secrecy – perhaps often justified silence, but secrecy nonetheless.
So this was a rough one. And in fact, a lot of news did come out of it yesterday. What are we going to do with these drones? The technology is unbelievable, but questions of when and how and against whom and the morality of using them have plagued the program and certainly had a lot of senators concerned. I think these questions will be around for a while, but the debate came out into the open a bit with yesterday’s hearing and I imagine it will stay there for a while. They’re big questions: if a U.S. Citizen is plotting against the United States, do we have the legal and moral authority to kill them without a trial? These are very big, complicated questions to answer.
With all of that said, I think Brennan will be confirmed and he’ll be able to continue answering those questions and justifying U.S. actions while serving as director of the CIA.