Senate Intelligence Committee Backs Gina Haspel To Lead The CIA

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A US Senate committee looks likely to approve the confirmation of President Donald Trump's pick Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency, despite vigorous opposition over her role in setting up alleged "black sites" used to detain and torture individuals accused of being "terrorists".

The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to forward her nomination to the entire Senate, virtually assuring that she will earn final approval to lead the USA spy agency, replacing Mike Pompeo, who is now secretary of state.

Earlier this week, Maine's senators said they were split on their support for Haspel's nomination by President Trump, with Sen.

Senate GOP leaders have signaled that they want to try to confirm her as soon as Thursday, though without cooperation from Democrats that could slide into next week. Angus King saying he would vote against it.

The committee's chairman gave her a constructive public endorsement after the vote.

In the closed session vote, Haspel won "yes" votes from 10 of the committee's 15 members, including all eight Republicans and two Democrats.

"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the C.I.A. should have undertaken", she wrote in a letter to the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Harris says Haspel's unwillingness to share more detailed information about the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques is "deeply troubling". Haspel has not disclosed any details of what she did in connection with the program or say whether she thought it had been immoral.

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It has been nearly three years since McCain led the charge in Congress to curtail the interrogation techniques, pushing legislation to make the Army field manual's code of conduct the government standard.

Attention now turns to the vote by the full Senate, which has yet to be scheduled. Haspel told the committee that she would not resurrect the agency's controversial rendition, detainee, and interrogation program if she became CIA director, but went no further. "There is no reason why her confirmation should be delayed - and I look forward to advancing it expeditiously following the committee's action". Jeff Flake, who pointed to it last week as compelling and indicated it could influence his decision - suddenly putting the nomination in jeopardy.

Gina Haspel is picking up Democratic support and is expected to get a nod on Wednesday from the Senate intelligence committee.

'Gina Haspel is the most qualified person the President could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70 year history of the Agency, ' Burr said Wednesday.

'I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, ' she said, while conceding that 'the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world'.

Already announcing their support for her were Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. McCain is not expected to be in Washington for Haspel's confirmation vote. "However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future". "Gina Haspel failed that test", said Krulak, who organized a letter signed by more than 100 retired generals and admirals expressing concern over her nomination.

Shortly after Warner's statement, moderate Sens.

Haspel's letter came after Republican Sen.

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