Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Gina Haspel passes crucial vote to become Central Intelligence Agency director

Gina Haspel passes crucial vote to become Central Intelligence Agency director

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.

Haspel's nomination moved ahead despite stiff opposition - including from at least three of Trump's fellow Republicans - over her part in the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning widely considered torture, in the years after the September 11 attacks. Two of the committee's seven Democrats had said they supported Haspel, including Virginia's Sen. Haspel now has more than enough support to win confirmation, as Warner was one of six Democrats who've announced they plan to vote to confirm her. Sen.

After the vote on Wednesday, many Democrats expressed concern about Haspel's nomination. "I, along with the CIA and the entire Intelligence Community, am eager to have her at the helm of the CIA". Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen.

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McCain said he understood the reasoning behind resorting to the "so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked", but argued that "the methods we employ to keep our nation safe must be as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world". A few of them back Haspel for Central Intelligence Agency director because they recognize how sexist it is to demand accountability when they escaped consequences and were able to to go on tour with their books that are destined to populate the shelves of Goodwill thrift stores forever. Democratic lawmakers and other opponents of Haspel have turned to Twitter to demand its release with the hashtag #UnlockDurhamReport.

"I remain concerned about Ms. Haspel's commitment to transparency", Harris said.

At the request of Congress, the CIA has declassified documents shedding light on Haspel's career in covert operations, particularly in her reported role at the agency's "black site" in Thailand. "Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA's interrogation program during the confirmation process". In her Senate confirmation hearing, she said agents were working under orders they understood were legal. "Allowing her to now run the CIA will only invite even more distrust and suspicion of what is going on behind the scenes at the agency".

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"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken", she wrote in the letter to Warner.

But the Democrats backing Haspel have pointed to her endorsement from a wide range of former intelligence officials, including top Obama administration officials, as well as an acknowledgment in a Tuesday letter that she believed the interrogation program was damaging and shouldn't have been conducted, something she didn't say at her public hearing.

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