Confirmation expected after CIA nominee Gina Haspel wins Senate panel backing

Confirmation expected after CIA nominee Gina Haspel wins Senate panel backing

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 United States spy agency to the entire Senate, virtually assuring final approval of her nomination. The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination as early as this week. Haspel has already won the backing of several Democrats.

The committee's top Democrat, Sen. "We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments", Jones said in a statement.

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

In written answers to the committee's questions, and a separate letter to Warner, Haspel stopped short of condemning the agency officials "that made these hard calls" and praised the "valuable intelligence collected" through the program - despite the Senate's determination that interrogations were not a viable means of gaining information.

She had not expressed these emotions publicly, throughout her contentious affirmation listening to final week.

President Donald Trump's pick to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency has toughened her public stance against harsh interrogation. In comments aimed at clarifying her position on now-banned torture techniques, Haspel said that she would "refuse to undertake any proposed activity that is contrary to my moral and ethical values". "Most importantly, 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", Warner said in a statement after the vote. Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., said in a statement Wednesday. "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".

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She has been serving the spy agency for about 33 years. She joined the CIA in 1985 and has held a collection of high-ranking positions on the intelligence company all through her prolonged profession, together with senior management positions inside the company's Nationwide Clandestine Service, which oversees the company's spy operations overseas and its most covert operations packages.

At the request of Congress, the CIA has declassified documents shedding light on Haspel's career in covert operations, particularly in her reported role at the agency's "black site" in Thailand.

The report said that while at the black site in Thailand in 2002, Zubaydah was subjected to the controversial practice of waterboarding 83 times and to other "stress" techniques such as being slammed against walls, deprived of sleep and placed in a coffin-sized box for up to 226 hours.

Among those who opposed Haspel's confirmation is the ailing John McCain, who is a senior member of the ruling Republicans and the party's presidential nominee in 2008. McCain is not expected to be in Washington for Haspel's confirmation vote.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, under the leadership of Feinstein, investigated the CIA's interrogation and detainment program for terrorists in 2014.

"The torture of detainees in USA custody over the last decade was one of many darkest chapters in American historical past", McCain stated in an announcement.

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