Six Senate Democrats Helped Republicans Confirm Torturer Gina Haspel

18 May, 2018, 09:35 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Kevin Lamarque  Reuters

He did not vote on Thursday.

After Trump went for former Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo as the USA secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, the position became vacant and he nominated Haspel to fill it. Haspel, 61, is associated with the Central Intelligence Agency for three decades now and has built her career as an operative, functioning overseas as a head spy in secret torture cells. "While I respect Ms. Haspel's service and sacrifice, after meeting with her and reviewing classified documents, I do not think she is that person".

"I think she's a particularly disastrous choice, being one of the principal actors" in the torture program of the Bush administration, Alberto Mora, the former general counsel for the US Navy and a senior fellow at the Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, told Al Jazeera. But Leahy said he still questioned her judgment and lamented that she has never publicly condemned torture as "immoral".

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". "Her confirmation is also historic because she will be the first woman to lead the agency".

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Haspel will replace Mike Pompeo at the head of the agency.

But for many in the Senate, such as Intelligence Committee Democrat Mark Warner, Haspel's dark history didn't matter.

This, however, did not deter the handful of Democrats from voting to confirm her.

Haspel, whose nomination was endorsed by the Senate Intelligence Committee a day earlier, previously was deputy director and has spent her career with the agency.

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Haspel, who will be the first woman to lead the CIA, is a 33-year veteran at the agency now serving as its acting director.

During her confirmation hearing, Haspel repeatedly declined to say whether harsh interrogation techniques were morally wrong. Dishearteningly, six Democrats voted in favor of her confirmation.

More than 100 former United States ambassadors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents sent the Senate a letter opposing Haspel, saying that despite her credentials, confirming her would give authoritarian leaders around the world the license to say U.S. behavior is "no different from ours". Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Sen. Joe Donnelly (IN), Sen.

Republican Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake and Rand Paul voted against Haspel's nomination. Bill Nelson in Florida. Haspel also received the support of the editorial boards of New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard. Overseas, we expect Haspel's torture record will raise demands for accountability worldwide.

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