US Senate panel approves CIA nominee Haspel despite torture background

US Senate panel approves CIA nominee Haspel despite torture background

US Senate panel approves CIA nominee Haspel despite torture background

Amid an intensifying public debate on torture, President Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA on Tuesday said the interrogation program the agency ran at black sites after the September 11 attacks should not have been undertaken.

Gina Haspel is a step closer to becoming the next CIA director after the US Senate Intelligence Committee voted to advance her nomination.

If confirmed by the full Senate next week, Haspel would become the first woman to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The CIA's post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program that Haspel was involved with, as well as torture methods and waterboarding, have been contentious topics generally split along party lines. "Nothing speaks louder than Haspel's secrecy and silence on torture, destruction of evidence, and her role in both".

Amnesty recently published a 32-page report on the CIA's torture programme and Gina Haspel's nomination.

The 15th member committee is comprised of eight Republicans and seven Democrats.

Palestine recalls ambassadors to 4 European states
You were the second country to recognise Israel ", Netanyahu said at the ceremony, referring to its founding in 1948. And Al Jazeera reports Paraguay plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May.

"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", according to Haspel's written answers to some 60 additional questions from lawmakers.

While Haspel is expected to easily clear the panel in a closed-door vote today, her confirmation at the full Senate depends on winning support from key Democrats, largely those from conservative or centrist states, who are under enormous pressure from outside liberal and human rights groups to block her.

But Democrat Ron Wyden, one of the most strident opponents to the torture program, said he still has "grave concerns" about her suitability, rooted in still-classified matters that Haspel and the agency refused to make public. Haspel danced around those queries by saying she would not restart the program and that she supports the current "stricter moral standard" after Congress changed the law.

'[I] t was a mistake not to brief the entire Committee at the beginning, ' she wrote.

"I believe [Haspel] is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral-like a return to torture", Warner said in a statement.

Confirmation by the full Senate appeared likely as five Democrats — Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — announced their support.

Two Parkland shooting parents running for Broward School Board
This Feb. 14, 2018 frame from security video provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows deputy Scot Peterson , right, outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland , Fla.

During her confirmation hearing last week, she said she doesn't believe torture works as an interrogation technique and that her "strong moral compass" would prevent her from carrying out any presidential order she found objectionable.

"Whereas I will not condemn people who made these laborious calls, and I've famous the precious intelligence collected, this system in the end did harm to our officers and our standing on the planet", Haspel continued.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted Tuesday that Haspel's confirmation vote could come relatively soon. "However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future", Sen.

Two Republicans, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona, are opposed to Haspel's nomination.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, McCain's Arizona colleague, has said he's undecided. But McCain, who is battling brain cancer, is not expected to come to Washington to cast his ballot.

Sam Nzima, Photographer of Iconic Protest Image, Passes Away
He approached The World and started freelancing for them before he took the iconic photo of the Soweto student uprisings in 1976. When Sam Nzima was growing up in his village of Lillydale in Bushbuckridge, he dreamt big and wanted to make a difference.

Related news