Gina Haspel wins approval from Senate Intel Committee

Trump's pick to be the next CIA director, Gina Haspel, won approval from the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning, receiving a "favorable recommendation" in a 10-5 vote.

The committee voted 10-5 Wednesday in favor of Gina Haspel, who must now be confirmed before the entire Senate body before she can become the next Central Intelligence Agency director.

Haspel now is all but assured to win confirmation in a vote before the full Senate that could come as early as Thursday.

"I do not consider that torture works", she advised the committee, however stopped in need of saying whether or not the interrogation program was "immoral" or ought to have been carried out.

The controversial episodes in Haspel's career include a stint overseeing a secret prison in Thailand where brutal interrogations were conducted, and her role drafting the 2005 cable ordering the destruction of 92 videotapes depicting the interrogation of one detainee.

Amnesty recently published a 32-page report on the CIA's torture programme and Gina Haspel's nomination.

Two of the committee's seven Democrats are supporting Haspel, including Virginia's Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who endured years of it as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who authored the Senate's definitive report on the CIA's practices - to declare Haspel unconfirmable. Similarly, former CIA Director Leon Panetta made a personal appeal to Sen.

"After spending several weeks carefully evaluating all of the information available to me about Ms. Haspel and her career, reviewing her confirmation hearing, speaking with current and former public officials, and meeting with her in person yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support her confirmation as the Director of the CIA", Jones said in a statement that might appease some of those in his base - three weeks before a primary election - who have been disgruntled with his vote for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other actions that seemed be less than critical of the Trump administration than he could have been. "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.

Most likely now that she has the votes to be confirmed, or in the off chance to cast the deciding vote against her, U.S. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon announcing his decision to vote against Haspel.

If she passes confirmation, Haspel would become the first female director in the agency's history of over 70 years. "I'm happy to see the Committee favorably report her nomination to the total Senate, and I stay up for her swift affirmation".

But for Warner, and for the Democrats who followed his lead to also announce their support for Haspel on Tuesday, it was enough.

'[I] t was a mistake not to brief the entire Committee at the beginning, ' she wrote.

Bolstering the comments she made during her hearing, Haspel wrote, "I do not support use of enhanced interrogation techniques for any goal".

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.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, McCain's Arizona colleague, has stated he is undecided. McCain just isn't anticipated to be in Washington for Haspel's affirmation vote.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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