Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Central Intelligence Agency nominee rejects harsh interrogation program

Central Intelligence Agency nominee rejects harsh interrogation program

Gina Haspel is sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee during her confirmation hearing to become the next CIA director on May 9, 2018.

The Committee voted 10-5 Wednesday in favor of Haspel, who must now be confirmed before the entire Senate body before she can become the next Central Intelligence Agency director.

With a positive committee vote, the full Senate could vote on Haspel's confirmation as early as Thursday, according to Senate aides, although that would require cooperation from senators to waive the chamber's procedural hurdles for a quick vote.

Haspel testified at a Senate hearing that torture does not work as an interrogation technique and that, as director, her strong "moral compass" would ensure she did not carry out any administrative directive she found objectionable.

Warner was among the Democratic senators on the committee who grilled Haspel last week over her role in waterboarding and other harsh tactics.

Haspel wrote that she has "learned the hard lessons since 9/11".

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The one person who might be able to stop the Senate from voting through President Trump's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency is stuck thousands of miles from the Capitol as a key committee prepares to vote on her nomination.

Five Democrats have announced that they will vote to confirm Haspel.

She ran a black-site prison in Thailand where a high-level terrorist was detained and tortured in 2002. Haspel has vowed not to restart such a program, but has declined to disclose details about her involvement. Two red-state Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly, already announced they will back her. "We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments". "Most importantly, 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.

Haspel said that if she was given the order again, she would not support it. Rand Paul of Kentucky is likely to vote against her and GOP Sen. 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.

Haspel's opponents included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the CIA's use of torture would encourage foreign governments to torture American soldiers and provide propaganda for extremists who want to attack the USA.

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