Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel wins Senate panel backing, confirmation expected


Haspel also said she would not permit the spy agency to resume its harsh interrogation program, which became one of the darkest chapters of the CIA's history and tainted America's image worldwide.

Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation.

The first woman, and the first career intelligence professional since Director William Casey to lead the CIA, Haspel promises to be an excellent, apolitical and talented leader. Haspel told the committee that she would not resurrect the agency's controversial rendition, detainee, and interrogation program if she became CIA director, but went no further.

"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?"

Two of the committee's seven Democrats have said they are supporting Haspel, including Virginia's Sen. "They are not just historical, but involve what kind of leader she is and will be going forward, if she is confirmed".

The Senate intelligence committee is expected to vote in closed session.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is voted privately to move Haspel's nomination to the full Senate for approval.

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Sen. Richard Burr (R-Va.), the intelligence committee's chairman, said in a statement that Haspel is the best person to lead the CIA, saying she "has acted morally, ethically, and legally" during her career.

The vote for Haspel is shaping up to be similar to last month's tally for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed with the backing of six Democrats from states Trump won in 2016, five of whom are up for re-election this year. "Gina Haspel failed that test", said Krulak, who organized a letter signed by more than 100 retired generals and admirals expressing concern over her nomination. She noted the damage the torture program did to the officers who conducted it and to USA standing in the world, but she mentioned nothing about how it led the Central Intelligence Agency to chase down false leads and turned the military commission trying the perpetrators of 9/11 into a kangaroo court.

Several Democratic senators and human rights organizations insist on scapegoating Haspel, even though she said she would oppose an order from President Donald Trump to restore the torture program.

Janos Barna, of Catskill, refused to take a position one way or the other, and said he is unsure what to believe about Haspel. Numerous records about her service in the agency during this time are secret.

Haspel supervised one of the covert detention sites in Thailand where suspects were harshly interrogated.

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.