Senator Diane Feinstein was forced to clear a confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday after repeated outbursts from demonstrators.
Five different protesters from CODEPINK interrupted John Brennan’s opening remarks in a five minute span, yelling about government secrecy and the children causalities of drone attacks. One held a sign that called Brennan a “national security risk.”
As each began yelling, Feinstein immediately directed them to be moved, warning after the second protest that she would clear the room if necessary. After the proceedings were interrupted for the fifth time, Feinstein recessed the hearing and called for all “Code Pink associates” to be removed from the chamber.
The organization tweeted throughout the protests and posted the following message afterwards.
— CODEPINK (@codepink) February 7, 2013
Brennan, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, helped to manage the administration’s controversial drone program. The policy of targeting American citizens drew even more criticism after NBC News revealed Justice Department documents laying out the legal justifications for the program.
Senator Feinstein herself called for more transparency on the issue of drone strikes in her opening remarks, but insisted that while all were welcome in the hearing, demonstrations were not allowed.
As he finished his remarks after the room had been cleared, Brennan said that, if confirmed, he would work to repair the “trust deficit” that Congress and many Americans have felt with the CIA.