Committee approves Trump's CIA director nominee, setting up full Senate vote

NYT License N  A Created 2018:05:09 10:27:17

Haley blames Iran, Hamas for Gaza violence Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief Heitkamp backs Haspel to lead CIA MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump gives GOP midterm pep talk Heitkamp backs Haspel to lead CIA Haspel says CIA should not have used "enhanced interrogation" MORE (W.Va.), sided with Republicans in approving her nomination in a 10-5 vote during a closed committee meeting. "I'm pleased to see the Committee favorably report her nomination to the full Senate, and I look forward to her swift confirmation".

"Having served in that tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership Central Intelligence Agency will not restart such a detention and interrogation program", she said.

At the request of Congress, the CIA has declassified documents shedding light on Haspel's career in covert operations, particularly in her reported role at the agency's "black site" in Thailand. She was also questioned about her role in the destruction of tapes showing those interrogation sessions.

"While her career has been impressive, Ms. Haspel's role in programs that conducted torture is very troubling; her refusal to acknowledge the immorality of such conduct even today with the benefit of hindsight is even more so and reflects poorly on our nation's reputation as a moral leader in the world". However, all eight Republicans and two of the seven Democrats on the panel earlier expressed support for Haspel.

It follows weeks of controversy surrounding her involvement with a post-9/11 torture and detention program, launched under the administration of George W. Bush. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who endured years of it as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who authored the Senate's definitive report on the CIA's practices - to declare Haspel unconfirmable.

Haspel's letter came after Republican Sen.

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel departs her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of IN have also indicated they will vote for her, making the vote at least close.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted Tuesday that Haspel's confirmation vote could come relatively soon.

'I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, ' she said, while conceding that 'the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world'.

She also had the support of the committee's top-ranking Democrat, Sen.

"In refusing to denounce torture, Haspel is effectively signaling she does not recognise the constraints of the law, which prohibits waterboarding and other forms of cruelty", Sarah Dougherty, senior fellow of the group, said in a statement.

"I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral - like a return to torture", Warner said in explaining his decision to vote for her. The remaining five Democrats had already announced their opposition and did not change their minds.

But during her confirmation hearing last week, she said she doesn't believe torture works as an interrogation technique and that her "strong moral compass" would prevent her from carrying out any presidential order she found objectionable.

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