Trump Urges Senate to Confirm Gina Haspel as CIA Chief


WASHINGTON, D.C.: A key US Senate panel on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) green lighted the nomination of veteran covert operative Gina Haspel to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency, despite her involvement in the torture of Al-Qaeda detainees in the early 2000s.

Since Trump nominated Haspel, her confirmation has been clouded by debate over the CIA's former interrogation program. In our opinion, she is exactly the right person to make sure our country has the valuable foreign intelligence needed to keep national leaders well informed so that they can properly protect the American people.

While the full Senate can vote to approve Haspel's nomination as early as next week, McGovern expressed hope that the U.S. people can influence lawmakers so that they do not appoint the "torture queen" the as the spy agency's first female director.

Doug Jones, D-Ala., said Tuesday in announcing his opposition to Haspel.

"[The Senate intelligence committee] voted to reward a dark, criminal chapter of our country's history when it shouldn't have agreed to a vote until Haspel's full torture record was made public", the ACLU tweeted. He cited a new letter in which she said that the agency shouldn't have undertaken a post-9/11 antiterrorism program that many critics say amounted to torture.

"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", Mr. Warner said.

So far, five Democrats have said they support her confirmation: Warner, Manchin, and Sens.

Moreover, Obama and his CIA Director John Brennan sought to quash the Senate torture report, blocking its release for two years and illegally hacking into the computers of Intelligence Committee staff who were drafting the final version.

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

She is expected to have enough votes to be confirmed on the Senate floor.

Haspel has vowed never to restart such a program and says her "strong moral compass" would prevent her from carrying out any presidential order she found objectionable. Haspel supervised one of those detention sites in Thailand, but details of her work there have not been declassified. We need someone like Haspel who doesn't play the game because she understands just how bad the price can be.

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.

Flake, however, said in his statement Wednesday that he still has concerns over Haspel's role in the destruction of videotapes of interrogations. The split makes it crucial for Haspel to get support from the opposition to cross the 51 threshhold for confirmation.

Beavers said senators are making a political miscalculation if they give their support to confirm a nominee "who has helped carry out torture".

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said the nomination was not just about Haspel, but the USA grappling with its past mistakes.