Senate confirms CIA's first female director

Kevin Lamarque  Reuters

The popular newswire placed an addendum on the report, though, noting Haspel made it through the process "despite questions about her role in harsh interrogation program", referring to waterboarding - a practice supported by the intelligence community at the time it was in use and before 2014, when a Senate report concluded the practice was torturous.

After Trump went for former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo as the USA secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, the position became vacant and he nominated Haspel to fill it. Haspel, 61, is associated with the Central Intelligence Agency for three decades now and has built her career as an operative, functioning overseas as a head spy in secret torture cells.

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

Haspel's supporters cited her 33-year career at the agency.




Several senators said Haspel was not forthcoming in answering questions about her role in the torture program or the CIA's decision to destroy video-taped evidence of the sessions. She said she welcomed Haspel's recognition that the interrogation program "harmed our nation's moral leadership and her pledge that it will never be used again". But the Senate has just confirmed that it will tolerate rot at our government's core by elevating someone linked to those atrocities to now lead the United States intelligence agency. John McCain (R-AZ), who is home receiving treatment for brain cancer, was not able to vote.

"I strongly believe that we, as Americans, have a duty to look squarely at our mistakes, and to not sweep them under the rug, but to learn from them, and in the future, to do better", Warner said.

Haspel, 61, is a native of Kentucky but grew up around the world as the daughter of an Air Force serviceman. However, this version of events is undermined by the facts in the Senate torture report. Her involvement in ordering the destruction, in 2005, of 92 videotapes - some of which documented the interrogations - while serving as chief of staff to then-Director of the clandestine service Jose Rodriguez was also roundly criticized.

Haspel's confirmation came one day after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to advance the nomination. She said Haspel hasn't still fully acknowledged that torture is wrong. "I also believe it is important to hold Gina Haspel's nomination to a similar standard as previous nominees for this position, particularly in regards to responsibility for the CIA's use of torture following the 9/11 attacks", Shaheen proclaimed. Most other Democrats, including those eyeing presidential runs in 2020, voted against Haspel in what may become a defining issue for Democrats.

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