McCain urges Senate to reject Haspel's nomination

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel waves as she arrives for her meeting

Gina Haspel promised senators Wednesday that the CIA will not revive its outlawed torture program if she is confirmed as the agency's first female director.

Although McCain is unlikely to cast a floor vote on Haspel, as he is out of Washington receiving treatment for a rare and serious form of brain cancer, his opinion carries particular symbolic weight, as a war hero who was tortured in Vietnam.

"Ms Haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing".

Wednesday morning, lawmakers asked Haspel if she would allow the agency to waterboard suspects again if the president ordered it.

Haspel is facing opposition from some Democrats and many rights groups who are critical of her activities related to the shredding of interrogation videotapes in 2005 and her stint at a covert detention site in Thailand where two detainees were waterboarded, which simulates drowning. He was not released until 1973. Trump has consistently advocated for torture as an interrogation technique, saying "torture works" during his presidential campaign and, in January 2017, that we need "to fight fire with fire".

Later in the day, Warner said Haspel spoke with "a lot more clarity" on the questions he'd raised during a closed-door session with the committee, but that he hasn't yet decided whether he will vote to confirm her.

"For me, there is no better example of implementing lessons learned than what the agency took away from the detention and interrogation program". Rand Paul, R-Ky., has vowed to oppose Haspel because of her role in the agency's now-outlawed torture program. "I said that we could not do that".

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During his questioning of Haspel, King pressed her about the destruction of the tapes.

"As you know, virtually every senior intelligence person has come out and said she's the right choice", Gingrich continued.

Haspel said, too, that she "conducted myself honorably and in accordance with US law", and that she understands "the difference between right and wrong" when senators challenged her over why she went along with a program most now liken to torture, and the agency's efforts to cover it up.

Haspel's opponents include more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who say that the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency encourages foreign governments to torture American soldiers and provides propaganda for extremists who want to attack the U.S.

Collins, a Republican, and King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, both issued statements Wednesday evening following Haspel's private meeting the Senate Intelligence Committee, on which King and Collins both serve. She appeared to find it shortly after the hearing when Democrat Joe Manchin said he would support her.

Haspel has received strong backing from former top intelligence officials and most Republicans. Sen. "I may not have earned it, but I'm entitled to it because of some liberal perfect-world quota system that says what you do is not as important as your gender, race, sexual preference, etc., etc. etc".

"There was very deep concern about potential contacts, and we continue to monitor this very closely, between extremists and Pakistani nuclear scientists", Ms. Haspel said while responding to a question from Senator John Cornyn. Jack Reed (D-RI), who asked Haspel about fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's claim that Trump asked if he would pledge loyalty to him. "The CIA wants her to lead them into America's bright and glorious future!" The Justice Department also investigated, but no charges were filed.

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