Augusta Free Press

Sarvis calls on CIA Director John Brennan, DNI James Clapper to resign

Today, in response to the admission by the Central Intelligence Agency that it illegally spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Robert Sarvis called for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan and released the following statement:

“The admission by the CIA, after months of denials by Director John Brennan himself, should be the final nail in the coffin of his term at the spying agency. I call on John Brennan to resign from his position and urge my opponents to join me in doing so, especially Senator Mark Warner, himself a member of the Intelligence Committee.

John Brennan never should have been confirmed. In fact, when Barack Obama considered nominating him for a top post at the beginning of his presidency, rights advocates opposed Brennan’s candidacy over concerns about his role at the CIA during the George W. Bush Administration amid controversial policies including torture and rendition. Opposition to Brennan’s nomination was so strong that he withdrew from consideration before it was even official.

“Unfortunately, Barack Obama tried again a few years later after Brennan served as a counterterrorism advisor and became the architect of the Obama Administration’s controversial drone program.

“In 2013, Brennan was confirmed as CIA Director with the help of Mark Warner. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Warner had the opportunity to ask Brennan about important and controversial issues like government surveillance programs, torture, and targeted killings. Instead, Senator Warner lobbed a few softballs at Brennan and called it a day.

“What’s even more egregious is for members of the Intelligence Committee to cry foul when the government spied on their offices, but look the other way when the government launches a massive, warrantless spying program on innocent Americans.

“As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Warner ought to provide a vital check on the executive branch, not be a rubber stamp.

Mark Warner should do what he did after the Veterans Affairs scandal broke and call for the resignation of the person in charge. I invite him to join me in calling for the resignation of John Brennan, as well as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who lied to Congress under oath about the government’s mass surveillance programs.”

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