Senator Rand Paul: CIA Director John Brennan Should Be Fired

The Kentucky Republican, who filibustered the CIA chief's nomination, is the latest legislator to call for his ouster. 
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Larry Downing/Reuters

A spokesman from Senator Rand Paul's office has forwarded the Kentucky Republican's reaction to news that the CIA spied on a Senate subcommittee as it investigated torture, malfeasance that CIA chief John Brennan once explicitly denied. "It is illegal for the CIA to spy on Americans and an affront to our Republic to spy on the Senate," Paul stated. "Brennan told the American people that the CIA did not spy on the Senate but now he admits that they did.  Brennan should dismiss those responsible for breaking the law and be relieved of his post.”

Paul also emphasized that he tried to prevent Brennan's nomination to head the CIA by mounting a filibuster against it. At least two other senators have also called for Brennan to be fired. For more on Brennan's unacceptable job performance and the factors President Obama may consider when deciding what to do with him, see "Does John Brennan Know Too Much for Obama to Fire Him?"

Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has spoken out in defense of Brennan, and much of the conservative movement has greeted news that the CIA spied on its overseers with a yawn. A GOP that is actually interested in reining in big-government excesses and bureaucratic corruption would do well to orchestrate the replacement of legislators like Chambliss with legislators like Paul when assignments to key oversight committees are made.

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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