Senate panel approves Gina Haspel as Central Intelligence Agency chief

Senate panel approves Gina Haspel as Central Intelligence Agency chief

At her confirmation hearing, Haspel repudiated the programs and said she would not allow their return.

Haspel, now the CIA's deputy director, has come under fire from Democrats over her role in the agency's post-9/11 era interrogation and detention practice.

"What stood out most to me was Acting Director Haspel's refusal to call a spade a spade".

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.

"Torture works, ' the president said on at least six occasions as he ran for the White House".

"Ms. Haspel is cynically trying to offer mere words in an attempt to win votes to support her confirmation", said Gen. Charles Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps.

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Two of the committee's seven Democrats are supporting Haspel, together with Virginia's Sen. Four Democrats and one Independent voted against Haspel, including: Sens. "I was not on the sidelines, I was on the frontlines in the Cold War and I was on the frontlines in the fight against Al Qaeda", she said in response to grilling from Sen.

But the Democrats backing Haspel have pointed to her endorsement from a wide range of former intelligence officials, including top Obama administration officials, as well as an acknowledgment in a Tuesday letter that she believed the interrogation program was damaging and shouldn't have been conducted, something she didn't say at her public hearing.

"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. She needs a majority of votes to be confirmed in the 100-member Senate, which Republicans control 51-49. Manchin and Warner, Haspel has, in recent days, secured the support of Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). As a 2014 Senate Select Committee report noted, torture can impair memory (through sleep deprivation alone) and cause subjects to confess falsely simply to stop the discomfort. Numerous records about her service in the agency during this time are secret.

Confirmation by the full Senate appeared likely as four Democrats - Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - announced their support.

Reed cited the opposition of John McCain, his Republican counterpart on Armed Services, to buttress his argument against Haspel.

Asked if she would stand up to Mr. Trump if he ordered her to resume an "enhanced" interrogation program, she first said, "I do not believe the president would ask me to do that", then added, "I would not restart under any circumstances an interrogation program at C.I.A". "We're excited about her taking the helm as the full director of this agency and things look really good".

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