CIA Nominee, Grilled About Torture, Vows to Not Allow 'Immoral' Interrogations

BE PREPARED Susan Gordon the deputy director of national intelligence has already had her name surface as a possible replacement should Haspel falter
Key moments: Haspel defends her moral compass at tense hearing

10 May, 2018

"The president has asserted that torture works".

What Haspel now says she wouldn't do sounds a whole lot like what Haspel did do, so far as we can tell with limited information: Carry out a program of ineffective, inhumane and illegal interrogation, under the cover of flimsy, technical legality.

Haspel said, too, that she "conducted myself honorably and in accordance with USA 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.

But McCain, who had survived torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and fought to end the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation policy, criticized Haspel in terms that clash dramatically with the White House's campaign for her nomination. The tweet also contained a link to an editorial from a right-leaning publication entitled, "the Conservative Case Against Gina Haspel". I want to trust that you have the moral compass you said you have.

Haspel had overseen a detention facility for suspected terrorists in Thailand during the early years of the War on Terror, the Arizona Republic reported.

"I'm not going to sit here with the benefit of hindsight and judge", Haspel said. I support the law, I wouldn't support a change in the law.

"I think you have to be very direct about these things", Senator Dianne Feinstein, Harris's colleague from California, said after the portion of the hearing that was open to the public.

There were very grave concerns on that front, Ms. Haspel answered. That's a vital concern since he's spoken of bringing back waterboarding, in which a detained person is doused with buckets of water to the point of near-drowning. However she dodged many other questions, declining to call the "enhanced interrogation" that occurred on her watch immoral, or say whether she would waterboard a suspect if ordered to do so. Jack Reed, D-R.I., asked whether she would report to Congress if Trump were to ask her for a loyalty pledge akin to that he allegedly sought from former FBI Director James Comey.

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Haspel also explained her role in ordering the destruction of dozens of videotapes in 2005 that showed the brutal interrogation of a detainee, including waterboarding.

"I don't believe that torture works". In a deposition, Mitchell recounted demonstrating some of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" for then-CIA-director George Tenet.

"We're not getting back into that business", she added.

During the public hearing, Haspel was grilled about her involvement in the CIA's interrogation tactics and in the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation tapes, CNN reported.

Before she worked her way up the ranks of the C.I.A., from undercover operative to second-in-command, Haspel spent her early-childhood in Kentucky. McCain is recovering from surgery related to his brain cancer in Arizona and was not expected to be present when the Senate votes on Haspel's nomination.

"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense".

McCain has been home in Arizona battling brain cancer since the end of previous year, and is not expected to return for the vote.

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