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Gina Haspel, CIA pick, easily clears intel committee

17 May 2018

She faces what will likely be a close confirmation vote in the full Senate.

Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation. "No" votes included Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who blasted both Haspel and the committee immediately after the proceedings. "I'm pleased to see the Committee favorably report her nomination to the full Senate, and I look forward to her swift confirmation", he said.

"Alabama United States Senator Doug Jones' decision to deny a vote to confirm Gina Haspel, a highly qualified Central Intelligence Agency veteran with three decades of experience, is shameful at best".

Republicans have a slim two-seat majority over Democrats in the Senate. He suggests Haspel wouldn't have been a controversial nominee if a Democratic president had appointed her. "She is exceptionally qualified and the Senate should confirm her immediately".

In this May 9, 2018 photo, CIA nominee Gina Haspel testifies during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"I don't believe that torture works", she told the committee, but stopped short of saying whether the interrogation program was "immoral" or should have been carried out.

"Senator Jones says he will not vote to confirm Ms. Haspel because of her stance on the agency's former torture policy which she denounced as wrong and as a practice that will not be continued".

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He demolished any trust the public might have in the intelligence committee's ability to provide real oversight of the CIA.

The vote for Haspel is shaping up to be similar to last month's tally for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed with the backing of six Democrats from states Trump won in 2016, five of whom are up for re-election this year.

"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?" She joined the CIA in 1985 and has held a series of high-ranking positions at the intelligence agency throughout her lengthy career, including senior leadership positions within the agency's National Clandestine Service, which oversees the agency's spy operations overseas and its most covert operations programs.

Haspel supervised one of the covert detention sites in Thailand where suspects were harshly interrogated.

Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured during years spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, led a push to reject Haspel after she refused to describe the interrogation methods used after the 9/11 attacks as "immoral". McCain is battling cancer and is not expected to be present to vote. Christopher Anders of the American Civil Liberties Union said the Senate panel was "rewarding a dark, criminal chapter of our history". However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future.

Flake's no vote follows Kentucky's Republican Sen.

Gina Haspel, CIA pick, easily clears intel committee