Brennan disputes backlash to drone strikes

John Brennan disputed in his confirmation hearing that drone strikes have created a widespread backlash that only creates new terrorists.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) asked President Obama’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency about former general Stanley McChrystal's conclusion that the strikes "are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one" and could jeopardize broader goals in the region.

Brennan responded that "we have to be very mindful" of the reaction to any U.S. strike but disagreed with McChrystal's assessment. "What we have found," he said, is that "people are being held hostage to al-Qaeda in these areas" and "have welcomed the work that the U.S. government has done, working with their governments, to rid them of the al-Qaeda cancer."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · February 7, 2013