Full Senate Confirms Haspel As Next CIA Director

18 May, 2018, 13:56 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA, first woman to hold post

President Donald Trump nominated Haspel as successor to Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State.

Haspel is a CIA veteran after more than 30 years with the agency.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, which oversaw the nomination, supported Haspel. More than 100 former US ambassadors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents sent the Senate a letter opposing Haspel, saying that despite her credentials, confirming her would give authoritarian leaders around the world the license to say USA behavior is "no different from ours".

According to CNN, she sent a letter to Senator Warner expressing her regret on how interrogation and detention practices were used in the wake of post 9/11 Central Intelligence Agency operations across the world. They said the USA needs to close the book forever on the program that marred America's image with allies overseas.

"Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying", McCain said, citing Haspel's reluctance, during her public hearing, to provide a "yes" or "no" answer to a question from California Democratic Sen. They can also carry on the tradition of destabilizing countries and meddling in elections to advance the agenda of American empire.

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

Haspel's nomination to lead the spy agency revived a debate on its now-banned torture program.

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In the early 2000s, Haspel ran the United States" first "black site' (secret overseas prison) in Thailand, where she oversaw the torture of terror suspects Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri.

The attacks on Haspel's record made Trump administration officials nervous about her nomination, especially after Paul announced his opposition, which meant Democrats had the ability to block Haspel's confirmation. That was enough to coax some senators into the "yes" column. The controversial practice, which simulates drowning, has been likened to torture but supporters say it has helped extract valuable information from hardened terrorists. "Based on what we've seen, I do not".

Laura Pitter with Human Rights Watch says Haspel's confirmation is a "perverse byproduct of the US failure to grapple with past abuses".

"The bottom line is this: No one has ever been held accountable for the torture program and I do not believe those who were intimately involved in it deserve to lead the agency", Feinstein said before casting her vote against Haspel.

The September 11 attacks put her into the middle of the now heavily criticized interrogation program, much of which, if launched today, would be illegal under U.S. law.

Among those opposed was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is home receiving treatment for brain cancer, was not able to vote.

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