Senate votes to confirm Gina Haspel as next Central Intelligence Agency director

Kevin Lamarque  Reuters

Kevin Lamarque Reuters

The most vulnerable of all Democratic Senators, West Virginia's Joe Manchin, who is campaigning for reelection in a state that overwhelmingly supported President Donald Trump in 2016, told his supporters that he supported Haspel because she was "an unbelievable public servant", who prioritizes the safety of America. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Sen. Among those who supported her nomination were six former CIA directors — Porter Goss, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, George Tenet, William Webster and Mike Hayden — and three former national intelligence directors — James Clapper, Mike McConnell and John Negroponte. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

The full Senate vote comes on the heels of a contentious debate over her nomination, back-and-forth stemming from concerns over her reported role in the CIA's "black sites" - overseas prisons the agency used to hold and interrogate top al Qaeda terrorists, including waterboarding.

Democratic senators grilled Haspel on these events at her confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on May 9. "Gina Haspel advocated for torture".

Haspel, 61, is a native of Kentucky but grew up around the world as the daughter of an Air Force serviceman.

On the opposing side are groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which says she should have stood up against the interrogation practices then.

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

"I do not imagine that torture works", she informed the committee, however stopped wanting saying whether or not the interrogation program was "immoral" or ought to have been carried out.

"Gina Haspel and the Central Intelligence Agency have dedicated one of the crucial blatant abuses of energy in current historical past, aided and abetted by a complete failure of Congressional oversight", Sen. Since joining the CIA in 1985, just a few years out of college, she has held some 20 separate jobs at the agency, including seven postings overseas.

Two Republicans voted against her, while Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured during years spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is in Arizona battling brain cancer and could not vote.

It was there that Al-Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were water-boarded, an interrogation technique subsequently condemned as torture.

"I would not restart, under any circumstances, an interrogation program at CIA", Haspel testified.

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