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Talk Of Delaying Brennan Nomination 'Unfortunate,' White House Says

While the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be secretary of defense has drawn opposition from groups who question his views on policy toward Israel and Iran, the nomination of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director may be delayed by senators who want to know more about last September's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:

"Said the Senate should not confirm any Obama nominee for the nation's top spy post until the administration elaborates on the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi," The Associated Press writes.

" 'My support for a delay in confirmation is not directed at Mr. Brennan, but is an unfortunate, yet necessary, action to get information from this administration,' the South Carolina senator said in a statement. 'I have tried — repeatedly — to get information on Benghazi, but my requests have been repeatedly ignored.'

"He added that the administration's 'stonewalling on Benghazi' must end."

To which White House spokesman Jay Carney responded that such talk is "unfortunate." As Politico reports:

" 'This question was answered, I believe, in briefings on the hill,' White House press secretary Carney said, noting that it was edited in the process of declassifying classified information.

"' It would be unfortunate, I think, if in pursuit of this issue, which was highly politicized, the Senate would hold up the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.' "

As The Hill has reported, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has "also indicated he might look to block Brennan's nomination over concerns about so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques at the agency. 'I appreciate John Brennan's long record of service to our nation, but I have many questions and concerns about his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, especially what role he played in the so-called enhanced interrogation programs while serving at the CIA during the [George W. Bush] administration, as well as his public defense of those programs,' McCain said."

McCain was tortured when he was a prisoner during the Vietnam War.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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