John McCain opposes Central Intelligence Agency nominee Gina Haspel

Saul Bowman
May 10, 2018

Joe Manchin III, W.Va., a panel member, became the first Democrat to back Haspel, while Sens. He said she must explain how she'd react if Trump - who has said in the past that "torture works" - "asks you to carry out some morally questionable behavior that might seem to violate a law or treaty".

The protesters were among the first to be allowed into the hearing room and wore signs that read "No Torture No Gina" and "Don't Reward Torturers". Committee chairman Senator Richard Burr, R-NC, said those who disrupt the hearing will be escorted out.

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.

The sound of dozens of clicking cameras greeted Haspel as she entered the room and shook hands with members of the committee.

"I know that those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect Americans from harm".

The nominee, who said she has no social-media accounts, said she was introducing herself to the American people after spending "over 30 years under cover and in the shadows". By the way, to be the kind of feminist acceptable to the left you also have to pledge allegiance to the right to kill one's unborn child for any reason through the full nine months of pregnancy, including through the birth process itself. Ms Haspel said she could discuss such classified details only in a closed committee session to be held later in the day. "She's a great professional. I excelled in finding and acquiring secret information".

"My only loyalty is to the American people and the Constitution", Haspel said. "I do not believe we were aware", Haspel replied.

Gina Haspel has served the Central Intelligence Agency for more than 33 years.


Haspel promised to work closely with the committee if she is confirmed.

Faith leaders from the National Council of Churches, Catholic advocacy organizations, and more than 2,000 rabbis banded together to write three letters asking for a "no" vote. He cited a provision of an executive order that prohibits information from being classified "in order to hide violations of law, inefficiency or administrative error" or "to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization or agency". It is reported that officials from the Trump administration coaxed her to remain.

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. But support is not certain, which means she would need at least one Democratic vote to be confirmed by the Senate. In November 2017, he opposed Steven Bradbury's nomination for general counsel of the Department of Transportation because of his involvement in the "torture memos", which outlined a legal justification for various interrogation techniques, like waterboarding.

"Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying", McCain said.

Ms. Haspel responded saying China, Russia, Iran and North Korea have very aggressive, offensive cyber programmes, both to steal secrets and in some cases, earn illicit money.

Gina Haspel says she got up from her desk on 9/11 and, like many other CIA officers, walked over to the spy agency's Counterterrorism Center to volunteer to help.

"China efforts to diminish US influence, not only in the Pacific, but all around the world, China's unfair trade practices, and China's overt and illicit efforts to steal USA technology and know-how and intellectual property", she said. The agency learned "tough lessons" during "that tumultuous time", Haspel said, and that theexperiencereinforced her "personal commitment, clearly and without reservation", not to restart the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

For decades, American foreign policy towards China has been rooted in the belief that as they prospered, economically, they would embrace democracy, they would embrace the global rule of law, Mr. Rubio said in his remarks.

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