John Brennan confirmed as CIA director

The Senate has confirmed John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 63 to 34.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), with support from several other senators, engaged in a nearly 13-hour filibuster against Brennan’s nomination on Wednesday. The senator dropped his block after receiving clarification from the White House on drone policy. He voted to end debate but opposed Brennan in the final Senate vote. 

Paul's aim was for the White House to clarify its policy on the use of unmanned aerial drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil.  In a letter to Paul sent earlier Thursday afternoon, Holder gave him his wish.

“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’” Holder wrote. “The answer to that question is no.”

Paul subsequently said he would be happy to proceed with a vote on Brennan’s nomination.

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Rachel Weiner · March 7, 2013