CIA Nominee Haspel Promises Not to Restart Torture Program

CIA Chief Nominee Haspel Vows Not to Resume Interrogation Program
Gina Haspel says she knows "the CIA like the back of my hand"
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10 May, 2018

She portrayed herself as a "typical middle-class American" with a "strong sense of right and wrong" who just doesn't happen to have any social media accounts.

Senators quickly turned to her role in the agency when the Bush administration, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, authorized waterboarding and other interrogation tactics widely believed to be torture.

McCain's office released a statement on Wednesday calling Haspel "a patriot" - but also said that the Senate should vote against her confirmation because of her connection to enhanced interrogation techniques employed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ms. Haspel said: "I would not allow C.I.A.to undertake activity that I thought is immoral, even if it is technically legal".

Haspel can not afford to lose any additional Republican support. He declined to discuss Haspel's nomination with us this week, but recently tweeted, "who would Jesus torture?"

Senators have asked several of Trump's Cabinet nominees to commit to stand up to the president and inform Congress if he were to pressure them to do anything legally or morally questionable. In the course of defending themselves against the suit, they attempted to have Haspel and another Central Intelligence Agency official, James Cotsana, deposed.

"I think you have to be very direct about these things", Senator Dianne Feinstein, Harris's colleague from California, said after the portion of the hearing that was open to the public.

Haspel suggests that she might have learned her lesson from a very trying experience - one closely entwined with Mitchell and Jessen. Before that, she rose through the ranks on the clandestine side of the agency, becoming station chief in several cities the CIA will not disclose. She was sworn in as deputy director on February 7, 2017.

McCain has frequently spoken out against waterboarding and other interrogation practices.

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"The CIA can, probably, make the biggest contribution, in collection, about these countries' activities and various groups activities so that we can inform the USA government agencies that have to mount our defence", she said.

"I don't believe that torture works".

"Today China is undertaking a comprehensive effort to supplant the United States and to undermine us".

However, she pledged that she would not bring back the program.

CIA nominee Gina Haspel testifies during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, May 9, 2018. Haspel pushed back against the characterization that she held a decision-making role in the interrogation program, saying the CIA's former acting general counsel John Rizzo had corrected an assertion in his memoir that Haspel "had previously run the interrogation program". She also refused to answer whether she had been a vocal advocate for expanding the interrogation program in the past. Rand Paul, R-Ky., the lone Republicans openly opposed to Haspel's nomination, she will need at least one Democratic vote to secure the job.

"Ms. Haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing", McCain said in a statement late Wednesday.

Although McCain is unlikely to cast a floor vote on Haspel, as he is out of Washington receiving treatment for a rare and serious form of brain cancer, his opinion carries particular symbolic weight, as a war hero who was tortured in Vietnam.


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