Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Top Senate intel Dem says he supports Haspel

'Too Tough on Terrorists.' Here's Why Trump Is Pushing Hard for the Confirmation of Gina Haspel as CIA Director Editorial cartoons for May 13, 2018: Trump blows up the Iran nuclear deal
| 15 May, 2018, 22:40

The top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee will vote for Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director, all but ensuring President Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency will have enough votes to win Senate confirmation. Richard Burr (R-NC) speak following CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. John McCain, who was tortured while in captivity during the Vietnam War, to announce his opposition to her nomination.

The latest comments may tip the scales toward confirmation for Haspel, who otherwise won bipartisan praise for her three decades as a working spy who would become the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. "While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world". But critics have said she should have been more forceful in denouncing torture and Mr. Paul has said she had not come fully clean on her role in the agency's harsh interrogation and secret prison programs in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Haspel's comments went beyond her testimony at her confirmation hearing last week, when she repeatedly refused to disavow techniques such as waterboarding as immoral or ineffective.

With the Republican Party holding only a 51-49 margin in the Senate, cut to 50-49 in practice because of McCain's long absence due to terminal brain cancer, the shift of even one senator had the potential to torpedo the nomination.


He also cited the support for Haspel by former CIA directors under the Obama administration, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and General Michael Hayden, first appointed director of the National Security Agency by Democratic President Bill Clinton and later CIA director under George W. Bush.

McCain said last week he found it "disturbing" that Haspel had a role overseeing torture and could not back her nomination. Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly.

Most Republicans are expected to back her. A committee vote is expected Wednesday. "Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America", he said in an interview.

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