Gina Haspel passed her first Senate hurdle to becoming the first woman to lead the CIA, winning approval of the intelligence committee Wednesday morning.
The Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to forward her nomination to the entire Senate, virtually assuring that she will earn final approval to lead the U.S. spy agency, replacing Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State.
Panel Chairman Richard Burr, though, called Haspel "the most qualified person" to lead the agency.
Haspel served in several positions at the agency during her 30-year career including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, chief of staff for the Directorate of Operations and chief of station for multiple stations in Europe and Eurasia.
In a farcical attempt to cloak his support for Haspel, Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, announced on Tuesday that he had received a letter from the nominee that convinced him the ex-torturer would not revive such methods.
The Senate intelligence committee has recommended that the full Senate confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA. She also played a key role in efforts to destroy videotapes of the torture of al-Nashiri and another detainee ― efforts that began in 2002 and ended with the videos' destruction in 2005, just as Congress moved to conduct an inquiry into that Central Intelligence Agency program. Wednesday, the president nominated Gina Haspel to be the next CIA Director.
"Her being the first female director does not make a difference", Flaherty said. Joe Manchin, W.Va. - while high-profile Republican senators said they oppose Haspel's appointment including Sen. We need someone like Haspel who doesn't play the game because she understands just how bad the price can be.
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She is expected to have enough votes to be confirmed on the Senate floor.
Only two Democrats - Warner and Sen.
Haspel's nomination moved ahead despite stiff opposition - including from at least three of Trump's fellow Republicans - over her part in the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning widely considered torture, in the years after the September 11 attacks. In fact, Haspel's claims (in both the hearing and her follow-up answers) that torture did not appear on those tapes suggest that perhaps someone at the black site she ran had made the tapes unreadable in 2002.
"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy", Sen. Trump, on the other hand says waterboarding and "a lot more" is what he demands.
A letter from more than 100 former US ambassadors said Haspel's confirmation would undermine diplomatic efforts to discourage torture by tyrants in other countries.
Haspel's opponents included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the CIA's use of torture would encourage foreign governments to torture American soldiers and provide propaganda for extremists who want to attack the USA. It will make Haspel, a 61-year-old Russian Federation specialist, the first-ever woman to lead the CIA, and the first director who spent an entire career in the agency's clandestine services.