Gina Haspel confirmed as first ever female Central Intelligence Agency director

18 May, 2018, 06:32 | Author: Kim Reid
  • A world of threats awaits Gina Haspel as CIA director

Despite the opposition of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, the United States Senate today voted to confirm torturer Gina Haspel to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, further harming the United States' worldwide standing and handing Donald Trump another victory.

She is now the first female director in the agency's history of over 70 years.

"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken", she told Warner in the letter dated Monday. "Gina Haspel advocated for torture".

Laura Pitter with Human Rights Watch says Haspel's confirmation is a "perverse byproduct of the USA failure to grapple with past abuses".

A career employee for 33 years and most recently the deputy director, she is highly suited in every respect but one. Yesterday, she was confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee in a 10-5 vote.

The popular newswire placed an addendum on the report, though, noting Haspel made it through the process "despite questions about her role in harsh interrogation program", referring to waterboarding - a practice supported by the intelligence community at the time it was in use and before 2014, when a Senate report concluded the practice was torturous. They said the USA needs to close the book forever on the program that marred America's image with allies overseas. In her Senate confirmation hearing, she said agents were working under orders they understood were legal.

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Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said in a floor speech that Haspel "offered up nearly the classic Washington nonapology". Senator McCain was unable to cast a vote, however, as he was at home battling cancer.

Flake said that Arizona Sen.

Meanwhile, two Senators who don't have to worry about answering to red-state voters during an election year extended their support for Haspel. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida.

Other Trump-state Democrats, though, including Sen.

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. Most other Democrats, including those eyeing presidential runs in 2020, voted against Haspel in what may become a defining issue for Democrats.

"No matter how you dress it up, torture is torture", Warren said.

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Opponents of her nomination included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the agency's use of torture would encourage foreign governments to torture American soldiers.

She is the Kentucky-born daughter of a former member of the US Air Force, and was raised on military bases. He became USA secretary of state last month.

"That's hypothetical", she said.

Haspel received robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials.

U.S. Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, was among her supporters. We will work with human rights groups overseas to hold her and the Central Intelligence Agency accountable.

Haspel also had strong support from Republican President Donald Trump's administration, many current and former intelligence officials and a wide range of lawmakers, including Democrats.

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