Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Central Intelligence Agency nominee approaching torture like Obama did

Feinstein's A 'No' Against CIA Nominee Gina Haspel and the Enduring Questions About Torture
Lisa Bryan | 13 May, 2018, 00:27

A second Democrat on Saturday said he would vote to confirm Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee for CIA director, moving the agency veteran a significant step closer to confirmation.

Donnelly said in his statement that he had a "tough, frank, and extensive discussion with Ms. Haspel on a wide range of topics, including her vision for the agency and how she would approach the job, as well as issues of detention and interrogation".

Other democrats are also undecided, but Donnelly's support seems likely to shift the numbers in Haspel's favor despite the opposition she has received.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are the only Republicans who have publicly said they will not support Haspel, while Sen.

President Trump probably wouldn't appreciate the comparison, but his nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency seemed to be channeling Barack Obama in some of her testimony at her Senate confirmation hearings.

During her confirmation hearing before the Senate, Haspel said she would not restart the interrogation programs used in the past and would resist any efforts from the president to implement the tactics into the US war on terror once again.

The problem for Haspel is that senators inclined to extend such a dispensation to her for her role in those frightening times must contend with the fact that she would be serving a president who looks back at those days and apparently likes what he sees. John McCain of Arizona, who was tortured as a prisoner in Vietnam, called on the Senate to reject her nomination, citing her refusal in testimony to acknowledge "torture's immorality". Haspel was born in Ashland to two parents who also hail from Kentucky.


But she would not say that torture is immoral.

A senior Democratic source told Fox News this week that it was unclear if the Senate Democratic leadership would whip against Haspel, and that several Democrats may eventually vote for her.

During her confirmation hearing, Haspel pledged to abide by the current law that forbids those methods and that she would reject an order from Trump to use those techniques against a terrorist now.

"I've always shared McCain's views on torture and looked up to him on this", Flake told reporters this week. Harris has since said she will vote against Haspel's confirmation.

Haspel is expected to get the nod from the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, but senators are still deciding whether they will vote to confirm her when the full Senate votes in upcoming weeks.

She warned that confirming Haspel would send a message to allies that the US approves of what happened after 9-11. Mr Trump said Democrats like Donnelly say one thing, "and then they go to Washington and vote for the radical, liberal agenda".

Other Democrats are weighing their votes.

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