Senate Intelligence Panel Approves Gina Haspel as CIA Director

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The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to forward her nomination to the entire Senate, virtually assuring that she will earn final approval to lead the U.S. spy agency, replacing Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State.

"Numerous experienced intelligence operatives agree that Haspel would be the best prepared CIA director in the agency's 70-year history". "She has acted morally, ethically, and legally, over a distinguished 30-year career and is the right person to lead the Agency into an uncertain and challenging future".

Besides Warner, at least five other Democrats have expressed support for Haspel.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a floor speech that Haspel "offered up nearly the classic Washington non-apology".

CIA nominee Gina Haspel testifies during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a letter Tuesday to the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Haspel says she
Senate Intelligence Panel Approves Gina Haspel as CIA Director

Amid all his talk of trust, however, Warner failed to secure any statement sufficient to convince any but the most credulous critics that Haspel would stand up to any egregious requests that President Donald Trump might ask of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Haspel's confirmation became all but certain with a favorable 10-5 vote Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Angus King, the independent from ME, also voted against Haspel at the committee, saying he felt she was not forthcoming about her role in the torture program.

"I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral - like a return to torture", Warner said in explaining his decision to vote for her.


"With the benefit of almost 20 years of hindsight, and from your perspective as the nominee to be Director of the CIA, do you believe the Agency's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" was consistent with American values?" They are rural, noncoastal representatives of states won by President Donald Trump, places where some say the party needs to win back voters to grow beyond its urban core.

"While I thank Ms. Haspel for her long and dedicated service to the CIA, as a country we need to turn the page on the unfortunate chapter in the agency's history having to do with torture", Flake said. John McCain, whose long-distance rejection of Haspel as he battles brain cancer at home hit a political nerve.

Her opponents argued that it wasn't right to promote someone who supervised a covert detention site in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning.

Warner's vote highlights the reactionary basis on which the Democratic Party is opposing Trump.


Flake, however, said in his statement Wednesday that he still has concerns over Haspel's role in the destruction of videotapes of interrogations.

Those Democrats supporting Haspel did so with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Ms. Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling, as my friend and colleague, John McCain, so eloquently reminded us.

"As Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel will be the first operations officer in more than five decades to lead the Agency". Trump has said in the past that "torture works" and that he would consider using it again.

In an interview, Gerald Staberock, secretary general of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), said Haspel's expected confirmation is a "terrible message by the United States that torture is not a crime".


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