King voting no on Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director nominee

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Haspel told senators Wednesday that she was told by supporters that her chances of being confirmed would increase if she agreed to declassify more information about herself, but she said she wants to follow the same declassification guidelines that would apply to anyone else in the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel hit back: "It has been suggested to me by my team that if we tried to declassify some of my operational history, it would help my nomination", she said.

Although President Obama and a previous Congress banned the use of torture, Trump has talked about the possibility of reviving the harsh interrogation techniques and has defended Haspel for being "tough on terrorists".

More than 100 former USA ambassadors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents sent the Senate a letter opposing Haspel, saying that despite her credentials, confirming her would give authoritarian leaders around the world the license to say US behavior is "no different from ours".

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., urged the Senate to reject Gina Haspel, arguing in a Wednesday night statement that the first female nominee to lead the CIA was too tainted by her work at the agency during the period when it had pursued "enhanced" interrogation techniques.

"While Acting Director Haspel did assert that she would refuse to restart CIA's detention and interrogation program, she did not provide much needed clarity about her reported role overseeing the program or the destruction of the videotapes".

Her nomination has become contentious because she was chief of base of a covert detention site in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded.

In her defense, Haspel said that in retrospect it is clear, as the Senate committee's 2014 report on the programme concluded, that the "CIA was not prepared to conduct a detention and interrogation programme".

Haspel's promise could put her at odds with Trump, who spoke during the campaign about toughening the USA approach to fighting extremists and vowed to authorise waterboarding and a "hell of a lot worse".

Identifying China as a major national security challenge for the USA, a top CIA official told lawmakers that the spy agency has an important role in monitoring China's rise as a global power. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who argued to his colleagues if the committee can't approve a nominee like Haspel, "who are we gonna confirm?" "I do not believe we were aware", Haspel replied. "The CIA wants her to lead them into America's bright and glorious future!"

"Senator, my only loyalty is to the American people and the Constitution of the United States", Haspel said. "I don't believe that torture works", Haspel responded, before adding that "valuable information" had been obtained from some al-Qaeda operatives who were interrogated using such methods. A senator from the Bluegrass State now stands between her and her next role.

Vukmir's accusations against Baldwin are made worse by the fact that, unlike other Democrats and Sen.

Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the committee's Republican chairman, said Ms Haspel (61) is a "natural fit" to run the agency after three decades there and objected to turning the hearing into an inquiry "into a long-shuttered programme". Mark Warner of Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California, said some of her answers lacked clarity.

"I appreciate their dilemma and the strain of their duty", McCain said.

During her testimony, Haspel cited the support she has among the agency's rank and file, noting that "they know that I don't need time to learn the business of what CIA does". 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.



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