Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Committee Recommends Haspel Confirmation As More Democrats Announce Support

Committee Recommends Haspel Confirmation As More Democrats Announce Support

Haspel now has the support of the majority of Republicans and endorsements from five Democrats.

Haspel told senators she would defy a direct order from the president which she thought was immoral.

"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?"

Besides Warner, at least four other Democrats, all up for re-election this year in states that backed Trump in 2016, have expressed support for Haspel. "The recipient of several prestigious awards (including the prestigious George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism) and positive recommendations by three former Central Intelligence Agency directors, Ms. Haspel is more than deserving of a confirmation by the U.S Senate".

Harris says Haspel's unwillingness to share more detailed information about the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques is "deeply troubling".

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., tweeted last week she opposes Haspel's appointment, and will vote against it when it comes before the whole Senate.

"Gina Haspel is the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency", committee chairman Richard Burr said in a statement. Republicans leaders in the Senate want to hold that vote before the end of the week. In a follow-up letter to Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, she added that in hindsight, it was a mistake to have used them at the time, and says while the program may have produced valuable intelligence, it "ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

Haspel served in several positions at the agency during her 30-year career including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, chief of staff for the Directorate of Operations and chief of station for multiple stations in Europe and Eurasia.

The interrogation program became one of the darkest chapters of the CIA's history and tainted America's image worldwide after the September 11 attacks.

Haspel said Tuesday in a letter to Sen.

In announcing that he would vote to confirm her nomination, Warner pointed to the written answers, claiming they memorialized Haspel's more "forthcoming" views on the torture program, even while he repeated that he wished "she had been more open with the American public during this process".

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

"The torture of detainees in US custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history", McCain said in a statement. John McCain, R-Ariz., who did not vote because he had surgery to battle his brain cancer.

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