Haspel is a career CIA officer who has spent much of her time at the agency working under cover. Both senators are facing potentially tough reelections this year in states won by Trump.
But more than 90 former USA ambassadors and diplomats and more than 100 retired generals and admirals have signed letters, raising concerns about her nomination and the extent of her role in "enhanced" interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, as well as destroying evidence of the activities many call torture.
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 USA war on terror once again. I have also reviewed her record and her testimony before Congress, ' he added.
Trump in March tapped Haspel to replace Mike Pompeo, his new secretary of state, as head of the agency, but her nomination was quickly met with backlash over her role in the CIA's now-banned torture program. Nor would she say anything about what she did or what she observed.
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Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, asked her to define her "moral code". The other, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), said Haspel has "great character" and is "supremely qualified" to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. John McCain, a Republican who is still recovering from treatment for brain cancer and would likely not return in time for the Haspel vote, is firmly against the nomination.
In her nomination hearing, Haspel refused to give clear answers. Even if they all oppose her and Flake joins the opposition, Haspel should have 50 votes for her confirmation.
The nominee for CIA director oversaw the use of enhanced interrogation methods - later deemed to be torture by the Senate Intelligence Committee - on detainees at a "black site" in Thailand after the 9/11 attacks. So it's not surprising that Trump has nominated Gina Haspel to the agency's top spot. Haspel has herself vowed that the so-called detention and interrogation program will not resume under her directorship.
"Was Haspel simply a loyal dupe, unable to protest an accused man being sent to certain barbaric torture?"
The Intelligence Committee is expected to hold a vote on Haspel on Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the panel's timing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would then like to hold a full confirmation vote the following week before the Senate adjourns for the week-long Memorial Day recess.