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CODEPINK and Other Activists Arrested During Confirmation Hearing as They Call on Senate to Reject Brennan as Head of the CIA
WASHINGTON - February 7 - During the Thursday Senate Intelligence Committee hearing where Senators questioned John Brennan, CODEPINK peace activists derailed the hearing by speaking out in opposition to the nomination. The activists highlighted Brennan’s atrocious record when it comes to the deadly drones, kill lists, torture and rendition. They held up red-painted hands to symbolize the blood Brennan has on his hands and signs calling for his nomination to be rejected. Brennan was forced to stop speaking several times as activists were carried out of the room by Capitol Hill police. The 8 arrestees include Toby Blome, Ann Wright, David Barrows, JoAnn Lingle, Alli McCracken, Eve Tetaz, Joan Nicholson, and Jonathan Tucker, 4 of whom had recently returned from a trip to Pakistan to meet with drone victims. Immediately after the arrests, Chairman Dianne Feinstein called for the clearing of the room, ordering everyone out of the hearing room and not allowing any protesters to return. Protesters chanted “Reject John Brennan” as police led them out of the hearing.
Alli McCracken, a 24-year-old who was a part of the delegation to Pakistan, spoke out when Brennan entered the hearing room and admonished him for his direct role in the deaths of so many innocent Pakistanis. “John Brennan has blood on his hands. He terrorizes children and families throughout the world,” McCracken said, holding a sign that read “Drones Create Enemies.” “My generation has been at war for half my life. We deserve better!”
CODEPINK member Toby Blome, who held up bloodied hands and a rag doll representing children killed in drone strikes, flew into Washington DC from San Francisco just for this hearing. “John Brennan is responsible for the death of many innocent people and should not be rewarded for these crimes,” says Blome, “It is our responsibility to speak up and reject him, even if our elected representatives will not.”
“Brennan is unfit for office because he’s the architect of the unconstitutional and secret predator drone killings that violate due process and our moral sensibilities,” says CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.
CODEPINK held a demonstration outside the Senate, with an 8-foot cardboard cutout of John Brennan and a large drone replica. Members of many different peace organizations attended to speak out about the loss of innocent lives at the hands of Brennan’s deadly drone program. Photos are available on the CODEPINK Flickr site.
CODEPINK members will be available for interview before and after the hearing.