Gina Haspel: CIA Should Not Have Carried Out 'Enhanced Interrogation'
Gina Haspel: CIA Should Not Have Carried Out 'Enhanced Interrogation'
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16 May, 2018, 18:08
Every Republican member of the committee voted in favor of Haspel, including two Democrats - Sens.
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.
In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner dated Monday, Haspel writes that the so-called enhanced interrogation program "is not one the CIA should have undertaken".
The CIA declassified a review that found "no fault with the performance" of Haspel in the destruction of the videotape evidence, which could help clear the air for senators who are troubled by her involvement in the matter. Waterboarding simulates the experience of drowning. Doug Jones, D-Ala., said Tuesday in announcing his opposition to Haspel.
He said Haspel had not been straightforward to him in her answers at her hearing about whether she was aware the White House and other administration officials were against destroying the tapes at the time.
Despite criticism - including from Republican Senators Rand Paul and John McCain - because of her ties to the CIA's former harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects, Haspel is expected to win confirmation as the first woman to lead the spy agency. "We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments".
Repeatedly pressed about whether she would allow tactics she considers immoral, Haspel at times evaded senators' questions and noted that the Central Intelligence Agency does not have a formal role in interrogations. In comments aimed at clarifying her position on now-banned torture techniques, Haspel said that she would "refuse to undertake any proposed activity that is contrary to my moral and ethical values". "I believe that she will be a strong advocate for the Agency's workforce, and an independent voice who can and will stand up on behalf of our nation's intelligence community". Both cited her role in the torture program, which began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was later banned during the Obama administration.
Republicans hold a 51-49 Senate majority, making for a 52-47 vote with McCain recovering from surgery.
Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again. Brennan is an outspoken critic of Trump but called Haspel "highly qualified" and urged senators to view her with an open mind.
Republicans have pressed red-state Democrats including Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly to support Haspel's confirmation. Sen. "He specifically mocked Democrats" concerns about waterboarding, saying it was a "minor form" of torture and that the U.S.
Haspel, 61, is the acting CIA director, and she has yet to be confirmed by Congress after facing backlash from politicians over her intelligence career.
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