Rand Paul pressured by GOP to confirm Gina Haspel for Central Intelligence Agency head

Dick Cheney wants to bring back waterboarding because 'it worked'

Gina Haspel's comments came in a letter Tuesday to senators as the Trump administration works to shore up support for her confirmation amid an intensifying public debate over torture.

While Haspel is expected to easily clear the panel in a closed-door vote on Wednesday, 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.

Haspel's participation in the torture program has prompted Republican Sens.

Last week, Ms. Haspel, the longtime veteran of the CIA's clandestine service and now the agency's acting director, appeared before the panel to promise committee members she would fight any efforts to reimpose post-9/11 interrogation practices.

Haspel played an integral role in the CIA's program, both as a senior leader in the agency's Counterterrorism Center and a supervisor of a secret facility in Thailand.

"Most importantly, I believe she 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. With a 51-49 Republican majority - and one of the GOP no votes, Sen. Joe Manchin are two Democrats on the committee who are supporting Haspel, and that vote is not in doubt. John McCain and Rand Paul have signaled they will buck President Trump and oppose her historic nomination.




"While I won't condemn those that made those hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world", Haspel said in the letter, dated May 14. John McCain of Arizona urged colleagues to reject the nominee over her past role in Central Intelligence Agency interrogations.

Haspel said she would "refuse to undertake any proposed activity that is contrary to my moral and ethical values".

Haspel has said she drafted a cable authorizing the destruction, which was sent by her boss, former operations director Jose Rodriguez, in 2005.

"We were anxious about an irresponsible leak of our officers' faces to the world", Haspel told senators.

At one point, Kennedy welcomed the waterboarding, saying, "I'll do this for years". "And we hope that the Senate takes it upon themselves to confirm her".

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