WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nominee to head the CIA is telling senators that the United States remains at war with al-Qaida and other terrorists, and that the nation is under "daily cyberattack" by foreign countries and others.
The confirmation hearing for John Brennan was interrupted repeatedly at the outset before Brennan completed his brief opening statement. Sen. Dianne Feinstein ordered the hearing stopped so the room could be cleared of spectators.
The protesters were voicing anger over CIA drone strikes that have killed three American citizens and an unknown number of foreigners overseas.
It's a topic that has been very much on the minds of members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the hours before the hearing began, the White House provided them with a classified paper outlining the legal rationale for striking at U.S. citizens.
In his opening statement, Brennan said al-Qaida and its allies seek to "carry out deadly strikes against our homeland and our citizens." He also said the sweeping changes taking place in the Middle East and in North Africa have "major implications" for U.S. interests, for Israel, and for the stability of the region.
277-r-28-(Sound of protester and and Senator Dianne Feinstein (FYN'-styn), D-Calif., chair, Senate Intelligence Committee, during hearing)--Sound of Senator Dianne Feinstein ordering police to clear the hearing room as protesters continued interrupting CIA Director-designate John Brennan's confirmation hearing. (7 Feb 2013)
276-r-21-(Sound of CIA Director-designate John Brennan and protester and and Senator Dianne Feinstein (FYN'-styn), D-Calif., chair, Senate Intelligence Committee, during hearing)--Sound of a protester interrupting CIA Director-designate John Brennan as he begins reading his opening statement, and Senator Dianne Feinstein ordering police to remove her. (7 Feb 2013)
280-a-08-(John Brennan, CIA director-designate, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee)-"the coming years"-CIA Director-designate John Brennan says the agency plays a vital role. (7 Feb 2013)
279-a-17-(John Brennan, CIA director-designate, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee)-"action is contemplated"-CIA Director-designate John Brennan says he's committed to the drone program being run in line with the nation's values. (7 Feb 2013)
GRAPHICSBANK: John Brennan headshot, as Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Washington DC, on texture, lettering, JOHN BRENNAN, finished graphic (7 Feb 2013)
APPHOTO DCSA124: CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee'. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (7 Feb 2013)
APPHOTO DCSA120: Protesters from CODEPINK, a social justice group opposed to U.S. funded wars, disrupt the start of a Senate Intelligence Committee's confirmation hearing for John Brennan, the top White House adviser on counterterrorism and nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (7 Feb 2013)
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