Brennan Nomination

Floor Speech

By:  Saxby Chambliss
Date: March 6, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. I thank the Senator from Kentucky.

First of all, let me say, I appreciate the Senator's passion. I appreciate the fact that, as he knows--and he and I have had some discussions about this issue over the last several days and weeks--the Senator is bringing this to the forefront, as he has done.

We have talked about the Senator's question that he submitted to Mr. Brennan for answering. This is not a rocket science question. This is a question that is

perfectly reasonable, perfectly rational, and a question that ought to be able to be addressed by the administration in a very quick, simple, direct response. I have been dumbfounded, as the Senator from Kentucky knows, about the fact that he did not get a straightforward, simple answer immediately.

But the fact of whether a drone attack--and I am one of those who thinks we need to detain and interrogate folks as opposed to just firing drones at everybody because we are losing a lot of valuable information from folks whom we take shots at versus folks whom we are able to detain and interrogate--but still, I know the Senator from Kentucky agrees with me that at the end of the day, we need to take out bad guys, guys who seek to do us harm. The Senator's position all along has been that with due process that ought to happen.

My question to the Senator is, with the administration not giving him a straightforward answer--and I understand the Attorney General, in response to some questions today in the Judiciary Committee, again was very evasive on the question, in spite of having given the Senator a letter just yesterday on this issue--that there still is not a straightforward, black-or-white, as it appears to me they could give you, answer to this question; am I correct about that?

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Let me, Mr. President, if could, ask the Senator again a little different question to make sure I understand exactly what the Senator has asked for.

The Senator's position, as I understand it, has been all along that if we have bad guys flying airplanes into a tower or if we have folks who are firing missiles or tanks or weapons of any sort in the United States, seeking to carry out an act of war, an act of terrorism, taking those guys out is not a problem.

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Again, Mr. President, if I could direct a question to the Senator: The fact is that from a pure oversight standpoint--Armed Services, Intel--these committees that have jurisdiction over the issue of fighting the war on terrorism need to have the right kind of information so we can ask the right questions. Getting the right kind of information out of this administration has been worse than having a root canal and more difficult than having a root canal.

I again am appreciative of the Senator being forceful in asking the question, and I think at the end of the day, again, he has had no issue relative to ultimately having a vote on Mr. Brennan.

I am not supportive of the nomination of Mr. Brennan, but I think he ought to have a vote, and I intend to express myself in much greater detail on it a little later. But from the standpoint of simply moving the issue forward, if the administration had come to the Senator with a direct answer days or weeks ago, when he asked the question, we probably would not be here now.

Again, I thank the Senator for his comments on this issue.

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