US Senate committee okays Gina Haspel for Central Intelligence Agency

Haspel said at a confirmation hearing last week the US will'never ever resume a programme using torture

Veteran spy Gina Haspel will become the first female director of the CIA after six Democrats joined Republicans in a Senate confirmation vote on Thursday that overrode concerns about her role in the spy agency's harsh interrogation program after 9/11.

The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to forward her nomination to lead the U.S. spy agency to the entire Senate, virtually assuring final approval of her nomination.

The first thing I want to do is apologize: to [accuser] Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.
Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking member of the intelligence committee. "With this much steady support for the nominee, what valid reason does Senator Jones have to not cast a yes vote for this confirmation?"

Among those who opposed Haspel's confirmation is the ailing John McCain, who is a senior member of the ruling Republicans and the party's presidential nominee in 2008.

Of those six Democrats, four have said they are voting for Haspel, Sen.

"Senator Jones says he will not vote to confirm Ms. Haspel because of her stance on the agency's former torture policy which she denounced as wrong and as a practice that will not be continued".

Warner's vote highlights the reactionary basis on which the Democratic Party is opposing Trump.

She requested a transfer to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center in 2001 where she started September 11 of that year, according to the Trump administration.

By late 2002, Haspel was running a secret Central Intelligence Agency prison in Thailand where another detainee in her custody, Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, was subjected to waterboarding, prolonged sleep deprivation and other similar tactics. She told Warner: "While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massacusetts and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats, already announced their opposition.

"CIA torture was created to break human beings".

"With the benefit of almost 20 years of hindsight, and from your perspective as the nominee to be Director of the CIA, do you believe the Agency's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" was consistent with American values?" If she were disqualified, so would have been appointees of the Obama administration who served in the intelligence community at that time.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., did not take that tack. Ms. Haspel has been accused, not by one or two individuals, but by more than 100 military generals and admirals, of directly overseeing torture, and subsequently covering it up and destroying evidence.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said the nomination was not just about Haspel, but the USA grappling with its past mistakes. "Look at Gina Haspel-she's running it today'".

"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy", Sen. The entire state is implicated in a criminal conspiracy against the social and democratic rights of the working class, internationally and within the United States.

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