US Senate Confirms Haspel to Be 1st Woman CIA Director

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 behind closed doors Wednesday to advance Gina Haspel's nomination as President Donald Trump's CIA director pick, advancing the nominee to a full floor vote where she looks all but assured to win Senate confirmation.

Thursday's vote was 54-45.

But McCaskill also has affirmative votes to top Trump nominees she can point to, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to make the case that she is independent, deliberative, and discerning. "While I respect Ms. Haspel's service and sacrifice, after meeting with her and reviewing classified documents, I do not think she is that person".

Nearly all details about Ms. Haspel's record at the agency were classified, and officials there defied calls from some lawmakers to make them available to the public ahead of the vote. "I have heard from many Agency officers, and for that matter, members of the rank and file of other Intelligence Community agencies", Warner, who had announced his intention to support Haspel on Tuesday, said.

Number two Senate Republican John Cornyn said Haspel is well-liked within the CIA and will provide "objective, unbiased, and unvarnished intelligence" to the president and policymakers. She also wrote a memo authorizing the spy agency's destruction of videotapes showing what many legal scholars said was the torture of terror suspects.

Those speaking out in favor of Haspel's candidacy - like Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. - cited, among other things, the enormous support for Haspel from within the CIA.

Supporters of Haspel pointed to her 33 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly as an undercover agent.

Despite strong opposition and protest, CIA veteran Gina Haspel has been approved by the senate as the agency's new director.

In 2002, following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Haspel was in charge of a covert detention center in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods including waterboarding. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) sided with most Democrats in voting against Haspel. Sen.

At her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel faced sharp questions from Democrats about whether she thought the interrogation program was immoral. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. Joe Donnelly of IN and Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sen. John McCain, who urged senators to reject her.

More than 100 former USA ambassadors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents sent the Senate a letter opposing Haspel, saying that despite her credentials, confirming her would give authoritarian leaders around the world the license to say USA behavior is "no different from ours".


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