A Call from the Faith-Based Community to Reject Nomination of John Brennan as Director of the CIA

As representatives of various faith-based communities, we are deeply concerned about the nomination of John Brennan to be at the helm of the CIA. As President Obama’s current counterterrorism advisor, Brennan is the mastermind behind the administration’s lethal drone program, which is killing innocent civilians abroad and sowing strong anti-American sentiment throughout the world.

Every week on “Terror Tuesdays” John Brennan and President Obama go over a “Kill List” and assume the roles of prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner by deciding who lives and dies at the receiving end of American drone missiles. People on this secret Kill List have never been charged, tried or convicted in a court of law, and are given no opportunity to surrender. Drone strikes kill not only their intended targets, but innocent people, including hundreds of children, something that John Brennan has previously denied.

Drones in the hands of the CIA keep the program veiled in secrecy. The lack of transparency and accountability violate the basic tenets of a democratic society. The drone program has expanded dramatically at the behest of Brennan, and if appointed director of the CIA he will have even more power.

Our drone policies reflect a shameful lack of regard for human rights and international law. The example being set by the United States that a nation can go anywhere it wants and kill anyone it wants on the basis of secret information is leading to a world of chaos and lawlessness. The CIA should be an institution designated for intelligence gathering, not covert killing programs. We urge the Senate to reject the nomination of John Brennan, redirect the CIA to its role of intelligence gathering, and implement strict regulations for the use of lethal drones.

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Rev. Patricia Ackerman, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY
Aisha al-Adawiya, Founder, Women In Islam, Inc.
Wayne Alt, UCC Witness for Social Justice, Riverside-Salem United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman, Associate Pastor, First Congregational Church, UCC, Palo Alto, CA
Jean Barker, Interfaith Community Organizer, Kennett Square, PA
Father Jim Barnett, Dominican priest
Haim Dov Beliak, HaMifgash, Adult Jewish learning and encounter
Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), San Francisco, CA
Rev. Roy Birchard, San Francisco Fellowship of Reconciliation
Rev. Tsukina Blessing, Co-Founder Occupy Chaplains, Seattle, WA
Father Roy Bourgeois, School of the Americas Watch
Rev. Arthur S. Brown, Minister (retired), Third Ave Church of God, Washington, D.C.
Sr. Joan Brown, Franciscan Sister, Executive Director, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
Rev. David Bunje, Pastor, Foothills United Methodist Church
Rev. Paul Burks, United Methodist Minister, San Rafael, CA
Ken Butigan, Executive Director, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, Chicago, IL
Rev. John Chamberlin, pastor, First United Methodist Church, Hayward, CA
Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA, Washington, DC
Rev. Marilyn Chilcote, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley
Jim Clune, St James Peace and Justice Committee, NY
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Ph.D., Professor of Rabbinic Literature, American Jewish University
Judy Collins, Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, AL
J. Gray Cox, Quaker Institute for the Future, ME
Sheila Croke, Pax Christi Long Island, Hicksville, NY
Rev. Rebecca Crosby, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT
Father John Dear, Jesuit priest, author
Rev. Sharon Delgado, Executive Director, Earth Justice Ministries, United Methodist
Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International, Washington, D.C.
Sister Kathleen Desautels, Sister of Providence, Staff at the 8th Day Center for Justice
Barbara DiTommaso, Director, Commission on Peace and Justice, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY
Linda and Michael Dunn, Inland Valley Friends Meeting, Riverside, CA
Jean Durel, CCVI, International Justice and Peace Committee, Incarnate Word Sisters
Rebecca Fadil, Episcopal Church, New York, NY
Hazzan Shulamit Wise Fairman, Kehilla Community Synagogue, Piedmont, CA
Martha Ferger, President, Social Justice Council, First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, NY
Dr. John M. Fife, Moderator of the 204th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church
Ed Fisher, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Los Angeles, CA
Rev. Gray Fitzgerald, United Church of Christ, Concord, NH
Kathy Fonte, Pastoral Associate, Nativity BVM Parish, Clarence, NY
Mr. Ronald S. Fujiyoshi, ex-missionary, United Church of Christ
Sister Bernie Galvin, cdp, Congregation of Divine Providence
Reverend Carleen Gerber, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
Rev. Dr. Diana C. Gibson, Presbyterian Pastor, Menlo Park, CA
Rabbi Borukh Goldberg, Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace, Santa Cruz, CA
Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence, Berkeley, California
Andy Griggs, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Los Angeles, CA
Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit, MI
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington, DC
Rev. Peter Hinde, Order of Carmelites, Doctor of Divinity
Rev. M. Lara Hoke, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, MA
Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Progressive Faith Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde, Congregation Ohev Tzedek in Youngstown, OH
Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Kehilla Community Synagogue, CA
Linda Jenkins, Social Justice Congregational Director, Community Church of Boston
Mark C. Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Rev. Dr. Alan Jones, St. Mark’s, Sacramento, CA