Washington: The United States (US) Senate on Thursday confirmed John Brennan as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the second term of President Barack Obama.
The Senate voted 63-34 in favor of Brennan, overcoming Republican Senator Rand Paul’s attempt to slow the White House counter-terrorism advisor from becoming the next head of the CIA.
Despite his reservations, Paul was among several Republicans who backed Brennan, the architect of a controversial “targeted killing” policy that has seen targets such as Al-Qaeda operatives killed in Pakistan and Yemen.
The Kentucky senator had delayed up the nomination, seeking clarification from the White House over whether it was US policy to allow the killing by a drone strike of a “non-combatant American citizen on US soil.”
He got his answer on Thursday, when US Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to tell Paul that this was not the policy.
The unmanned aerial drone program had emerged as the most contentious element of Brennan’s nomination to head the Central Intelligence Agency.