Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel heads for confirmation amid resistance

Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel heads for confirmation amid resistance

Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel heads for confirmation amid resistance

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 closed doors Wednesday to advance Gina Haspel's nomination as President Donald Trump's CIA director pick, advancing the nominee to a full floor vote where she looks all but assured to win Senate confirmation. John McCain, R-Ariz., who endured years of it as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who authored the Senate's definitive report on the CIA's practices - to declare Haspel unconfirmable.

Haspel received a vital endorsement this week from the intelligence committee's top Democrat, Sen.

Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, asked her to define her "moral code".

Rand Paul (Ky.)-are openly opposing Haspel.

Haspel also said she would not permit the spy agency to resume its harsh interrogation program, which became one of the darkest chapters of the CIA's history and tainted America's image worldwide.

In 2002, Ms. Haspel headed a C.I.A. detention facility in Thailand where a suspect linked to Al Qaeda, accused of orchestrating the attack on the American destroyer Cole off the coast of Yemen, was waterboarded and brutalized in other ways. "I believe that she will be a strong advocate for the agency's workforce, and an independent voice who can and will stand up on behalf of our nation's intelligence community", Warner said after the vote Wednesday.

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Activists say Haspel's expected appointment sends message that in USA, "you can make a career while you torture people".

"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 told Warner in the letter dated Monday.

Responding to the committee's vote on Wednesday, Daphne Eviatar of Amnesty International USA said, "Due to the overwhelming public evidence suggesting Haspel's participation and compliance with crimes including torture, enforced disappearance, and obstruction of justice, Haspel's nomination is an affront to human rights". The Senate adopted that rule change in 2015 as part of the annual defense authorization bill by a vote of 78 to 21. Haspel is a 33-year Central Intelligence Agency veteran who was responsible for running a secret Central Intelligence Agency black site in Thailand in 2002 where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. The split makes it crucial for Haspel to get support from the opposition to cross the 51 threshhold for confirmation. He likened that to a "stacking of the deck" and said he would continue to seek the declassification of details about her past activities at the agency.

The CIA declassified a review that found "no fault with the performance" of Haspel in the destruction of the videotape evidence, which could help clear the air for senators who are troubled by her involvement in the matter.

Haspel's opponents, however, continue to weigh into the debate.

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