Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA Despite Torture Concerns

New CIA Director Gina Haspel has been linked to the use of brutal torture and interrogation techniques

The United States Senate today voted to confirm Gina Haspel as the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

But McCaskill also has affirmative votes to top Trump nominees she can point to, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to make the case that she is independent, deliberative, and discerning.

In a Twitter message, Trump congratulated Haspel on her confirmation.

The mainstream press and liberal critics have argued that Haspel's role in "harsh interrogation programs" should exclude her from the job. Ailing Senator John McCain said she had the responsibility to explain the "nature and extent of her involvement" in the CIA's interrogation during receiving the confirmation.

"She is the right person to lead the courageous men and women of the CIA, has a clear-eyed vision for the future of the Agency, and I look forward to working with Ms. Haspel in the years to come to keep our country safe". Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Sen. He said he worked closely with Haspel for almost seven years - until his retirement from the agency in 2013. Despite opposition from three Republicans, she won the position with a vote of 51-43, after gaining the votes of six key Democrats. He said he's convinced that Haspel could and would stand up to Trump, who has voiced support for waterboarding and has said "torture works".

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But in her hearing, Haspel reminded lawmakers of the important role played by the intelligence community after the 9/11 attacks. As Director of the CIA , Gina Haspel will be the first operations officer in more than five decades to lead the Agency.

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Several Democrats echoed Senator John McCain's statement on Haspel's nomination, where he said, "I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense". Haspel is now the CIA's deputy director. Since joining the CIA in 1985, just a few years out of college, she has held some 20 separate jobs at the agency, including seven postings overseas.

"There is no greater or more hard task than protecting the safety and security of families of our great nation, and for that I am extremely grateful to every member of our intelligence community, including Ms. Haspel, who has spent decades in public service", said Senator Patty Murray in a statement following the vote. "Unfortunately, Ms. Haspel failed to convince me during her hearing that she would always choose the path that best reflects our country's morals and values". Haspel also received the support of the editorial boards of New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard.

Ahead of voting, McConnell said Haspel "demonstrated candor, integrity, and a forthright approach" throughout the confirmation process and "has quietly earned the respect and admiration" of intelligence community leaders at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and overseas.

In the end, Flake voted against Haspel because he said he did not get enough information on her role in the destruction of the interrogation tapes.

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