The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Protests against US drones disrupt Senate hearing


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Protesters denouncing United States (US) drone attacks disrupted a Senate hearing on Thursday on the nomination for the next CIA director, forcing police to clear the hall to keep demonstrators out.

"Stand up against drones," yelled a protester, as President Barack Obama's pick to lead the CIA, John Brennan, was repeatedly interrupted while trying to deliver his opening remarks to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

After five separate disruptions, the chair of the panel, Dianne Feinstein, ordered police to clear the room and to bar the return of protesters from the anti-war "Code Pink" activist group, many of whom held up their hands with palms painted pink.

Mr Brennan is widely seen as the architect of the large-scale covert drone war against Al-Qaeda, which Mr Obama and his aides have declined to discuss openly.