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17 May 2018, 12:41 | Damon Campbell
Senate Committee Expected to Approve Haspel to Lead CIA
Veteran covert operative Gina Haspel was approved Wednesday to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency in a crucial Senate panel vote, despite her record of involvement in torture in the early 2000s, AFP reported.The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to forward her nomination to lead the USA spy agency to the entire Senate, virtually assuring final approval of her nomination.
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Wednesday to send Gina Haspel's nomination to the floor, setting up a final vote on the nominee as soon as this week. Haspel, who supervised a CIA detention site in Thailand in 2002, has told Congress that the agency shouldn't have used those harsh tactics and has vowed not to restart them.
On Wednesday, the committee announced the result of its vote, which was conducted behind closed doors, but did not provide any further details. However, in a move that's been called "beyond shameful", five Democrats-Sens. Warner's support was matched by one other unnamed Democrat in the secret vote, ensuring the closely divided Senate will also be able to pass Haspel through in a vote expected to come before the end of the month. Former CIA Director John Brennan contacted her, Warner, and Sens. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the panel. Hesaid he believes Haspel would stand up to the president if "ordered to so something illegal of immoral - like a return to torture".
"I'm going to support Gina Haspel's nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency". Until then, we can not support her confirmation. Haspel was reportedly in favor of destroying the evidence.
Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again.
It was Haspel's reticence to say that the CIA's interrogation program was, in retrospect, morally wrong that sparked the Senate's authorities on torture - namely, Sens.
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"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", according to Haspel's written answers to some 60 additional questions from lawmakers. "Nothing speaks louder than Haspel's secrecy and silence on torture, destruction of evidence, and her role in both". The Senate adopted that rule change in 2015 as part of the annual defense authorization bill by a vote of 78 to 21.
The Democrats' support for Haspel is crucial, given that GOP Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee and Sen.
The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination as early as this week.
Haspel's moment in the harsh glare of politics has generated a renewed public debate about the practical value of torture, which Trump touted as a certainty during his 2016 campaign.
"The definition of moral courage is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons when no one's looking".
Harris said she would vote against Haspel because she did not feel it would be the best pick for the agency, given her past.
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