Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Democrats may get Central Intelligence Agency nominee Haspel over line

Gina Haspel, CIA pick, easily clears intel committee Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel heads for confirmation amid resistance
Faye Gross | 17 May, 2018, 00:43

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted in favor of the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director on Wednesday.

The panel voted 10-5 to advise the full Senate to confirm Haspel, whose nomination has renewed debate over the harsh interrogation program the Central Intelligence Agency conducted on terror suspects after 9/11.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted Tuesday that her confirmation vote could come as early as this week. The full Senate could hold a confirmation vote before the end of the week.

At present, Haspel's prospects for confirmation by the full Senate look good.

Haspel's nomination made it out of committee with a 10 to 5 vote, with two Democrats, Sens. Haspel now has more than enough support to win confirmation, as Warner was one of three Democrats to announce Tuesday that they were voting for her, bringing the total to five.

Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), a red-state Democrat who faces election in 2020, announced that he would oppose her.

Haspel, if confirmed, will replace Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the next director of one the nation's top intelligence agencies. Still, McCain said her role "in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing".

But 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.

First climbers of 2018 reach Mount Everest summit
Kathmandu: Nepal's Kami Rita Sherpa on Wednesday set a new world record by scaling Mount Everest for the 22nd time. Nepalese mountaineer Lhakpa Sherpa prepares to leave for an expedition to Everest in Kathmandu on April 18, 2018.


'Most importantly, ' he added, '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'.

"In refusing to denounce torture, Haspel is effectively signaling she does not recognise the constraints of the law, which prohibits waterboarding and other forms of cruelty", Sarah Dougherty, senior fellow of the group, said in a statement.

"I understand that what many people around the country want to know about me are my views on CIA's former detention and interrogation programme", Haspel said during the Senate hearing. 'Both the Committee and the Agency shared the goal of obtaining the critical intelligence needed to thwart another attack'.

Harris said she would vote against Haspel because she did not feel it would be the best pick for the agency, given her past.

For 33 years with the agency, Ms. Haspel has been on the front lines of America's greatest security challenges, rising from station chief, to deputy director of the clandestine service, to deputy director of the agency.

The Democrats' support for Haspel is crucial, given that GOP Sen. Beavers has said she will also compose tweets to call out Republican senators, because "torture is not a partisan issue".

She says Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling, but she says Haspel now says the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and says it will not do so in the future.

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