Gina Haspel's Nomination As CIA Director Confirmed By Senate
09:37, May 18, 2018
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Claire McCaskill voted against President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director Thursday, saying that Gina Haspel's record at the spy agency showed that her "instincts and judgment" were not "in line with our country's moral compass".
Six Senate Democrats helped President Donald Trump, Republicans, and the Central Intelligence Agency confirm Gina Haspel as the next Central Intelligence Agency director.
Ms Haspel is a 33-year veteran at the agency now serving as its acting director.
At her confirmation hearing, Ms. Haspel said she would obey current law and vowed never to restart a detention and interrogation program like the one she was involved in more than a decade ago.
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. Last week McCain issued a powerful statement opposing Haspel's candidacy, calling her role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans "disturbing". "Her confirmation is also historic because she will be the first woman to lead the agency".
Republican Senator John McCain, who is undergoing cancer treatment outside of Washington, did not vote.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a floor speech that Haspel "offered up nearly the classic Washington non-apology".
Her confirmation today for the role is provoking a series mixed reactions, and the news isn't sitting well with everyone. Haspel is widely respected as a disciplined, non-political field agent. Among those who supported her nomination were six former CIA directors - Porter Goss, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, George Tenet, William Webster and Mike Hayden - and three former national intelligence directors - James Clapper, Mike McConnell and John Negroponte. But to the frustration of many senators, she refused to condemn the program and said it had been legal at the time. He asked how the Senate could take seriously Haspel's "conversion on torture?".
Haspel has faced public scrutiny as she is held accountable for supervising the torture of a War on Terror detainee and helping order the destruction of the video evidence of the torture.
Warner, the two-term Senator and former Governor of Virginia, is the top Democrat in the Senate Intelligence Committee, serving as Vice Chairman of the committee since January 2017.
It must be noted that several Democrats from Republican-controlled states did NOT vote for Haspel, notably Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Doug Jones of Alabama. Haspel also received the support of the editorial boards of New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard.
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