Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Gina Haspel Confirmed as CIA Director

A world of threats awaits Gina Haspel as CIA director Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA, first woman to hold post
Patty Aguilar | 18 May, 2018, 13:58

Blunt said Haspel has demonstrated leadership and professionalism throughout her 33-year career.

Ahead of the vote, McConnell said Haspel "demonstrated candor, integrity, and a forthright approach" during the confirmation process and that she "has quietly earned the respect and admiration" the intelligence community at home and overseas.

The 61-year-old Haspel, a Russian Federation specialist who spent her career in the clandestine service, takes over from Mike Pompeo, whom Trump recently made his secretary of state.

The 61-year-old Haspel has spent 33 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, and has worked undercover for almost 30 years with the Central Intelligence Agency in Africa, Europe and other classified locations globally. "On behalf of the Intelligence Community, we salute Director Haspel, a trailblazer...", said Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence. They said the USA needs to close the book forever on the program that marred America's image with allies overseas.

Republican Senator John McCain - who was tortured during his more than five years in a Vietnamese prison - had earlier announced his opposition to US President Donald Trump's nominee. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., citing his "powerful and unimpeachable views" as reason to oppose Haspel's candidacy.

He asked how the Senate could take seriously Haspel's "conversion on torture".

Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote on Thursday.

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Haspel was approved despite stiff opposition over oversight of the CIA's use of torture, including waterboarding, in the years after the September 11 attacks.

President Trump took to his Twitter account to express his happiness for the same as he added a picture depicting Haspel. That was enough to coax some senators into the "yes" column.

"Due to the overwhelming public evidence suggesting Haspel's participation and compliance with crimes including torture, enforced disappearance, and obstruction of justice, Haspel's nomination is an affront to human rights", Daphne Eviatar of Amnesty International USA said in a statement on Tuesday. "Based on what we've seen, I do not".

Opponents of her nomination included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the agency's use of torture would encourage foreign governments to torture American soldiers.

Kentucky's Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were split with McConnell being a staunch supporter and Paul being adamantly against her. Jeff Flake of Arizona. Joe Manchin (WV), Sen.

A similar position was adopted by North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who also faces an uphill battle for reelection this year. Joe Donnelly of IN and Sen. Bill Nelson (FL), Sen. Also voting yes were Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Sen. "Gina Haspel is the right woman at the right time".

"To hold her up as an exemplar, an individual whose career will serve as guidance to those who will join the agency in the future, is shocking".

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