The U.S. Senate has confirmed John Brennan as the next director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Currently the counter terrorism adviser to the U.S. President Barack Obama, Mr. Brennan was nominated by a vote of 63 to 34 on Thursday.
The vote was delayed by a 13-hour long filibuster by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Connecticut in pursuit of more information about the administration’s domestic drone policy.
Welcoming the nomination, Mr. Obama said that the Senate has recognised Mr. Brennan’s qualities and determination to keep U.S. safe along with his commitment to work with Congress and build relationships with foreign partners.
“With John’s 25 years of experience at the Agency, our extraordinary men and women of the CIA will be led by one of their own. I am especially appreciative to Michael Morell for being such an outstanding Acting Director and for agreeing to continue his service as Deputy Director,” he said.
He added that the timely accurate intelligence is absolutely critical to disrupting terrorist attacks, dismantling al-Qaeda along with its affiliates and meeting the broad array of security challenges that we face as a nation.
“John’s leadership and our dedicated intelligence professionals will be essential in these efforts. I am deeply grateful to John and his family for their continued service to our nation,” he said.
The vote on confirmation was moved through the Senate as Mr. Paul lifted his filibuster after receiving response to his question from the Attorney-General, Eric Holder.
“Does the President have the authority to use a weaponised drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil? The answer to that question is no,” according to Mr. Holder’s letter to Mr. Paul.
“This is a major victory for American civil liberties and ensures the protection of our basic Constitutional rights. We have Separation of Powers to protect our rights. That’s what government was organised to do and Constitution was put in place to do,” Mr. Paul said.