Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Heitkamp to support Gina Haspel for top Central Intelligence Agency job

Top News: Former VP Cheney: 'Enhanced interrogation' ought to nonetheless be in place, it's not torture Watch Tim Kennedy Dive Head First Into The Torture Debate With Dubious Backyard Science
Lora Ball | 16 May, 2018, 07:34

"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense", he said in a statement. To vote on whether to advance Ms. Haspel's nomination-behind closed doors and when so little information has been released to the public, and when the nominees has reportedly supervised torture, facilitated its cover-up, and obstructed access to her record on these matters-would be a disservice to the public and to congressional oversight of the executive branch. "Ms. Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling, as my friend and colleague, John McCain, so eloquently reminded us", Heitkamp said.

In the letter to Virginia Sen.

If these five Democrats remain firm in their support for Haspel, only four or more Republican defections will be enough to sink her nomination.

Like Warner, Heitkamp said hers was "not an easy decision".

Haspel is widely expected to be confirmed, perhaps as early as Thursday.

Warner vowed to support her.

Many Democratic senators and two Republicans oppose Haspel, a 30-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing her role after the September 11 terror attacks in supervising waterboarding and other interrogation techniques that critics call torture. "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying".

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But he stressed that Haspel "had been more forthcoming in private", and that for a career spy like Haspel, it must have been "hard to have that kind of debut in that public a setting" and address every question perfectly. She said "valuable intelligence" was collected from the interrogation program but that it ultimately did damage to the CIA's reputation. Those omissions - plus the fact that nearly all records related to her career have not been declassified - will probably keep dozens of Democrats from voting for her.

Jones pointed to Haspel's role in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" programs - now widely viewed as torture - as key to his opposition to her.

Haspel's letter comes after Republican Sen. In many ways, her story is representative of the thousands of people at the Agency and throughout the intelligence community who serve quietly, without recognition, and often at great personal risk, in order to keep our nation safe from those who wish to do us harm. Bill Nelson of Florida became the fifth Democrat to announce backing for Haspel's confirmation.

Haspel is facing criticism for her supervision of a black site in Thailand where harsh interrogations were conducted along with her role in the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation tapes.

Haspel's critics argue she still didn't take any responsibility for her role in the interrogation program or state whether she believed it was immoral.

Haspel faced an uncertain path to confirmation two months ago when Trump announced her as his nominee to replace Mike Pompeo, the former Republican congressman who is now secretary of State.

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