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Confirmation vote for Central Intelligence Agency nominee exposes Democratic rift

18 May, 2018, 13:57 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Senate Intelligence Committee votes to advance Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA director

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.

Earlier yesterday, United States President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to showcase his support for Haspel to be elected to the top post in the intelligence agency.

One red-state Democrat who has said he'll oppose Haspel, Sen.

She requested a transfer to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center in 2001 where she started September 11 of that year, according to the Trump administration.

Sen. Angus King, the independent from ME, also voted against Haspel at the committee, saying he felt she was not forthcoming about her role in the torture program. Haspel now claims the Nuremberg defense of she was just obeying orders both in supervising torture and destroying the tapes. When Democratic committee staffers created a classified document providing details of Haspel's record to be made available to the entire Senate ― the kind of transparency permitted before past votes involving classified information ― a senior aide to Warner moved to further restrict access to the document.

Moreover, Obama and his CIA Director John Brennan sought to quash the Senate torture report, blocking its release for two years and illegally hacking into the computers of Intelligence Committee staff who were drafting the final version. "She was told to do torture, pure and simple", McGovern, who has publicly protested Haspel's nomination, said. John McCain of Arizona, who is battling cancer and did not vote; Sen. 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's opponents included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the CIA's use of torture would encourage foreign governments to torture American soldiers and provide propaganda for extremists who want to attack the USA.




Her opponents argued that it wasn't right to promote someone who supervised a covert detention site in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning.

"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy", Sen.

Jeff Flake (AZ) announced Wednesday that he will be voting against Gina Haspel's nomination as CIA Director. Sen. The split makes it crucial for Haspel to get support from the opposition to cross the 51 threshhold for confirmation.

If confirmed, Haspel will be the first woman to helm the Central Intelligence Agency.

Flake, however, said in his statement Wednesday that he still has concerns over Haspel's role in the destruction of videotapes of interrogations. He said he's convinced that Haspel could and would stand up to Trump, who has voiced support for waterboarding and has said "torture works".

A letter from more than 100 former US ambassadors said Haspel's confirmation would undermine diplomatic efforts to discourage torture by tyrants in other countries.

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