Committee approves Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director nominee, setting up full Senate vote

Committee approves Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director nominee, setting up full Senate vote

The committee on Wednesday voted 10 to 5 to recommend Haspel to the full Senate.

The U.S. Senate should vote against confirming her appointment - ideally, by a margin of 100-0. Haspel's letter went further than her remarks in her confirmation hearing last week, in which she refused to say whether the torture program was immoral.

Haspel also drafted a cable ordering the destruction of videotapes depicting harsh interrogation of terror suspects after 9/11, although her boss actually sent the order.

"Gina Haspel is the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency", said committee chairman Richard Burr in a statement. Haspel, who supervised a CIA detention site in Thailand in 2002, has told Congress that the agency shouldn't have used those harsh tactics and has vowed not to restart them. McCain said her role "in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing".

As Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel will be the first operations officer in more than five decades to lead the Agency.

"It speaks very well of Ms. Haspel's qualifications that she was able to secure the support of both the Republican Chairman and the Democratic Vice Chairman of our Committee", she said in the statement.

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"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior Agency leader, the ehnanced interroragtion programme is not one the CIA should have undertaken", she said. 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.

"Gina Haspel and the Central Intelligence Agency have committed one of the most blatant abuses of power in recent history, aided and abetted by a total failure of Congressional oversight", Sen.

Haspel said she would "refuse to undertake any proposed activity that is contrary to my moral and ethical values". "There is no reason why her confirmation should be delayed - and I look forward to advancing it expeditiously following the committee's action".

'Most importantly, ' he added, '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'.

'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'.

Haspel said in her confirmation hearing that she would disobey any order from Trump to revive such techniques.

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The positive review sets her up for a final vote before the full Senate in the coming days.

Confirmation by the full Senate appeared likely as five Democrats — Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — announced their support.

Trump has said the country should consider using the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

Republicans John McCain and Rand Paul have announced their opposition to her.

When Haspel offered to withdraw her name from consideration, as the Washington Post reports she did during a White House meeting in early May, her offer should have been gratefully accepted.

McCain's warning resonated with several critics of the president, including his fellow Arizona Republican Sen.

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