New Hampshire's senators split on support for Central Intelligence Agency nominee

18 May, 2018, 09:36 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Sen. Jeff Flake

President Trump's new appointee for Central Intelligence Agency director, Gina Haspel, has been confirmed by the Senate as several Democrats crossed party lines, giving Haspel a 54-45 vote.

Ms. Haspel formally replaces Mike Pompeo as CIA director and will be the first career clandestine service officer to oversee the agency since Richard Helms in the 1960s and William Colby in the 1970s.

Six Democrats, four of whom face re-election in the fall in states where President Donald Trump is popular, joined Republicans in voting for Haspel.

The mainstream press and liberal critics have argued that Haspel's role in "harsh interrogation programs" should exclude her from the job.


But Haspel was able to win support from more than enough lawmakers from the left, after appeasing some by assuring Senator Warner in a letter on Tuesday that "with the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken". Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and Sen.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jeff Flake of Arizona were among the Republicans who voted against Haspel. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former chair of the Senate Intelligence Community who in that role worked extensively with CIA management, said confirming Haspel sends "the wrong message" that the United States has abdicated its moral authority. But according to Daniel J. Jones, who was a lead investigator for the Senate intelligence committee's torture report, "The CIA ignored the recommendation, and Haspel kept being promoted". Senator Ron Wyden of OR said on the Senate floor, "What I can say is her classified comments about her background have been as troubling as her public testimony". While I respect Ms. Haspel's service and sacrifice, after meeting with her and reviewing classified documents, I do not think she is that person". She also wrote a memo authorizing the spy agency's destruction of videotapes showing what many legal scholars said was the torture of terror suspects. "I also believe it is important to hold Gina Haspel's nomination to a similar standard as previous nominees for this position, particularly in regards to responsibility for the CIA's use of torture following the 9/11 attacks", Shaheen proclaimed.

When Trump nominated Haspel for the post, damning reports surfaced-which later proved to be false-about her tenure at the prison.

Despite strong opposition and protest, CIA veteran Gina Haspel has been approved by the senate as the agency's new director. "I have asked again and again for some justification for Ms. Haspel's self-serving classification decisions and every response I have received, in classified and unclassified settings, has convinced me further that those decisions have nothing to do with protecting sources and methods, and only to do with protecting her own image".

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