Senate Committee Expected to Approve Haspel to Lead CIA

17 May, 2018, 03:44 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Gina Haspel, CIA pick, easily clears intel committee

Haspel told the committee that she would not resurrect the agency's controversial rendition, detainee, and interrogation program if she became CIA director, but went no further.

U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to be the next CIA director appears headed for confirmation as Gina Haspel picks up Democratic support and is expected to get a nod from the Senate intelligence committee.

Warner said he received assurances from Haspel on her views on the CIA's enhanced interrogation programme, which human rights advocates have classified as torture.

Haspel, the CIA's acting director, earned support from the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the committee, called Haspel the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most-prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency.

During her confirmation hearing last week, she said she doesn't believe torture works as an interrogation technique and that her "strong moral compass" would prevent her from carrying out any presidential order she found objectionable.

McCain, who has been away from Washington all year as he battles brain cancer, urged the Senate not to vote for Haspel.

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The 15th member committee is comprised of eight Republicans and seven Democrats. The full Senate could hold a confirmation vote before the end of the week.

"I don't question Ms. Haspel's patriotism, intellect, or dedication to the agency", Reed said in a lengthy statement. Harris, one of the most liberal senators in office, made headlines during Haspel's initial hearing for asking the nominee if she believed the Central Intelligence Agency "had ever acted immorally" when interrogating suspected terrorists.

"I appreciate the commitment of Ms. Haspel and her colleagues to the service and defense of our nation, and I do not doubt the skills and expertise she has gained during her long career in the CIA", Jones said.

"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior Agency leader, the enhanced interrogation programme is not one the CIA should have undertaken", she said.

While she said she now disagrees with the operations, she declined to take issue with her predecessors' decisions - and said the torture sometimes produced useful information. But at least five Democrats in the Senate have said they will back her, "all but assuring" she'll be confirmed, per the Wall Street Journal.

Tortured himself while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain cited Haspel's role in the interrogation program, saying the country should only use methods to keep itself safe that are "as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world". Still, McCain said her role "in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing".

He is the same senator who staunchly and briefly opposed Mike Pompeo's nomination for secretary of state but then flip-flopped after a visit to the White House.

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