US Senate confirms John Brennan as CIA director
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) Senate confirmed counterterrorism expert John Brennan to be the next Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director on Thursday, filling a third crucial position on President Barack Obama's national security team.
The Senate voted 63-34 with several Republicans flocking to approve Brennan following a dramatic 13-hour filibuster the night before by Senator Rand Paul over the possible use of drones to conduct targeted killings on US soil.
Mr Obama hailed the Senate's move, praising Mr Brennan's "determination to keep America safe, his commitment to working with Congress, his ability to build relationships with foreign partners and his fidelity to the values that define us as a nation".
The confirmation of Mr Brennan, who has 25 years of prior experience at the CIA, comes after senators also gave their nod to Mr John Kerry to lead the State Department and to Mr Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief.