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Top US Senate intelligence Democrat backs Trump CIA nominee
15 May 2018, 10:25 | Colleen Roy
Dick CheneyScreenshot Fox Business
Haspel is expected to win "yes " votes from at least nine of the committee's 15 members, garnering support from all eight Republicans and at least one Democrat, Sen.
Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel said that the controversial methods that sought to gain information from terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks "did damage to our officers and our standing in the world". But in saying the CIA never should have embarked on the program in the first place, she is putting distance between herself and other senior intelligence officials, many of whom acknowledge that the CIA made mistakes but defend the interrogation program as legal, presidentially authorized and a legitimate response to the immediate threat of attacks by al-Qaeda. Referring to Haspel's role in overseeing torture and then ordering the shredding of videotapes of torture sessions, Donnelly said, "I believe that she has learned from the past and that the Central Intelligence Agency under her leadership can help our country confront serious worldwide threats and challenges".
Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Pence able to break any tie vote.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is urging his colleagues to reject Haspel's nomination.
CIA nominee Gina Haspel is seated for a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia and Joe Donnelly, Indiana, have pledged support.
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016, announced his opposition to Haspel, although he had previously voted for Mike Pompeo to head the CIA (with Haspel as his deputy director, giving her day-to-day control over the agency).
Haspel's participation in the torture program has prompted Republican Sens. According to Haspel, she categorically against the resumption of this program.
Notably absent from Haspel's letter was any statement about her role in destroying 92 videotapes of interrogations carried out at the Thailand facility.
In her Monday letter, Haspel said that she would refuse "to undertake any proposed activity that is contrary to my moral and ethical values".
"It's not just the issue of torture", he said. I'm not one of those people who calls it torture.
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