Haspel confirmed as Central Intelligence Agency head despite resistance due to torture oversight

Source AP

He did not vote on Thursday.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence offered their congratulations on Twitter, while some senators quickly made clear which side they were on, revealing their votes. "While I respect Ms. Haspel's service and sacrifice, after meeting with her and reviewing classified documents, I do not think she is that person".

"The Haspel nomination is one of the most self-serving abuses of power in recent history", Ron Wyden of OR said. "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 a question from Sen.

Ahead of voting, McConnell said Haspel "demonstrated candor, integrity, and a forthright approach" throughout the confirmation process and "has quietly earned the respect and admiration" of intelligence community leaders at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and overseas. She worked in Africa, Europe and classified locations around the globe and was tapped as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency previous year.

"Gina Haspel and the CIA have committed one of the most blatant abuses of power in recent history, aided and abetted by a total failure of Congressional oversight", Intelligence Committee member Sen.

This, however, did not deter the handful of Democrats from voting to confirm her.


An undercover officer for most of her CIA career, Gina Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using torture methods which included waterboarding. "Shes served with the Agency for 33 years, including tours as a case officer, four times as a station chief, the deputy chief of the National Resources Division, the Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service, and now as CIA Deputy Director", he said.

Haspel faces opposition from a majority of Democrats and human rights groups for her role in the George W. Bush administration's interrogation and detention program, which critics say amounted to torture.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has sent the nomination to the full Senate by a 10-5 vote, and her confirmation seems all but certain.

Six Democrats, however, were heartened by her pledge to never restart harsh interrogation programs even if Trump requested it. Joe Donnelly of IN and Sen.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jeff Flake of Arizona were among the Republicans who voted against Haspel. Bill Nelson (FL), Sen. Mark Warner voted in favor of the nomination. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who survived years of torture as a POW in Vietnam, and who, as he undergoes treatment for brain cancer, was not present for the floor vote.

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