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)

J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

Protesters interrupt CIA nominee Brennan hearing

  • Article by: KIMBERLY DOZIER
  • Associated Press
  • February 7, 2013 - 2:09 PM

WASHINGTON - The chairman of a Senate committee recessed John Brennan's CIA confirmation hearing and cleared the room after protesters persistently interrupted the proceedings.

Police removed several protesters at the beginning of the hearing on Thursday. More began yelling after Brennan began testifying, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein ordered the hearing recessed while the room was cleared of spectators by Capitol Police. The protesters were shouting objections to lethal U.S. drone strikes and harsh interrogation methods.

The hearing continued a few minutes later. Senate staff members and reporters were allowed to remain.

One protester shouted, concerning Brennan: "Your drone policies are resulting in the deaths of children."

In pre-hearing questions, Brennan had denounced harsh CIA interrogation methods but defended drone strikes, saying they caused far fewer civilian casualties than war.

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