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Hagel, Kerry, Brennan: Is the Senate even trying?

In the last month, we’ve been experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly of cabinet confirmations.

Begin with the good. Both Republicans, and to a larger extent Democrats, used this week’s hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan for exactly what the process should be used for: oversight. The Intelligence Committee first used the hearing to successfully push the Obama administration to release at least one document that they had wanted, and then it asked for even more – and extracted commitments of future cooperation from the nominee. They also pressed Brennan on a number of both his and, more importantly, the administration’s policies and views on several issues, including drones and torture.

We might debate how well the Intelligence Committee did their job, but at the very least they were trying.

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