Senate confirms Gina Haspel as first female Central Intelligence Agency director

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2018

Among Democrats supporting Haspel are several who are up for re-election this fall in states where Trump is popular, including Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida.

Haspel's nomination moved ahead despite stiff opposition - including from at least three of Trump's fellow Republicans - over her part in the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning widely considered torture, in the years after the September 11 attacks.

He asked how the Senate could take seriously Haspel's "conversion on torture".

One was in 2002, when she ran a black site prison in Thailand where officers carried out waterboarding and other harsh tactics to extract information out of suspected al-Qaida militants. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and Sen.

"She has acted morally, ethically, and legally, over a distinguished 30-year career and is the right person to lead the Agency into an uncertain and challenging future".

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was not in Washington for the vote however introduced final week that he opposed her nomination. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Later that day, Democratic Sen.

But Senate Democrat Elizabeth Warren insisted Haspel's past connection to practices now widely seen as torture should sound the alarm bell.

The CIA said those foreign postings include Europe, Eurasia and Africa, though it has declined to name the countries, saying that's classified information.

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 has been serving as acting director. 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.

Haspel needed Democratic support to win confirmation because two Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jeff Flake of Arizona, opposed her for her role in the interrogation program.

Haspel was undercover for her first 32 years at the agency, a status lifted just last year when she became deputy director to Pompeo.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said that Americans don't really know the truth about Haspel's background because the Central Intelligence Agency refused to declassify records that would have revealed exactly what she did.

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