Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Senate Intel panel backs Gina Haspel for Central Intelligence Agency director

Senate Intel panel backs Gina Haspel for Central Intelligence Agency director

Harris and four other Democrats voted against her.

No charges were filed, but Harris wants the Justice Department to declassify an investigative report into the matter.

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted in favor of the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the next CIA director on Wednesday.

In a letter to Warner on Monday, Haspel said that the Central Intelligence Agency shouldn't have undertaken its controversial enhanced interrogation program ― which included waterboarding ― because such methods "did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

"Gina Haspel is the right woman at the right time".

The committee voted behind closed doors Wednesday morning.

Committee chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, quietly nudged Democrats to support her. The remaining five Democrats had announced their opposition.

The positive review sets her up for a final vote before the full Senate in the coming days.

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"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy". Mark Warner (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee and Sen. We'll have more on Gina Haspel later in the broadcast.

Haspel, the CIA's acting director, earned support from the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. He likened that to a "stacking of the deck" and said he would continue to seek the declassification of details about her past activities at the agency.

Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again.

In a letter to Warner on Tuesday, Haspel said she now believes the program was a mistake. "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", the senator added. 'Both the Committee and the Agency shared the goal of obtaining the critical intelligence needed to thwart another attack'. Haspel has already won the backing of several Democrats. Mark Warner of Virginia and Joe Manchin of West Virginiain voting for Haspel.

Haspel's opponents, however, continue to weigh into the debate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted Tuesday that Haspel's confirmation vote could come relatively soon. Her nomination enjoys the support of six former CIA Directors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents, he said.

"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".

While she said she now disagrees with the operations, she declined to take issue with her predecessors' decisions - and said the torture sometimes produced useful information.

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