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Senate Confirms Brennan to Head CIA

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The U.S. Senate has confirmed John Brennan as the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency after one senator threatened to hold up the vote indefinitely over the White House drone policy.

Thursday's vote was 63 to 34. It came after the Senate held a separate vote to cut off any more debate and proceed with the confirmation.

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul filibustered against the Brennan confirmation, talking on the Senate floor non-stop for 13 hours Wednesday. He demanded the Obama administration specify limits on using drone strikes to attack U.S. terror suspects on U.S. soil.

Attorney General Eric Holder sent Paul a brief letter stating that the president does not have the authority to kill a U.S. citizen not engaged in combat on U.S. soil.



Holder said earlier this week that while the president has no intention of ordering a drone strike within the United States, he could do so under an "extraordinary circumstance."

The Obama administration has used drones to kill terror suspects overseas, including U.S. citizens.

Senators on the Intelligence Committee demanded to see the top secret legal opinions justifying such attacks before sending Brennan's nomination to the full Senate.

Brennnan is a long-time CIA official who had been President Obama's top counterterrorism advisor. He has said he supported the drone policy.

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