Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

US Senate committee confirms Trump’s pick for CIA chief

Latest news

    Haspel said at a confirmation hearing last week the US will ‘never, ever’ resume a programme using torture [File: Alex Brandon/AP]

    A key US Senate panel has approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Gina Haspel, paving the way for her confirmation to lead the spy agency.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 behind closed doors to approve her nomination on Wednesday.

    Despite criticism of her ties to the CIA’s former “enhanced interrogation” programme for “terror” suspects in the years after the September 11 attacks, Haspel is expected to become the agency’s first female director.

    Senator Richard Burr, the committee’s Republican chairman, said in a statement that Haspel is the best person to lead the CIA, saying she “has acted morally, ethically, and legally” during her career.

    Trump pick for new CIA director Gina Haspel oversaw torture

    Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran, is currently its acting director.

    She faces what will likely be a close confirmation vote in the full Senate. 

    That is in part because she was the CIA chief of station in Thailand in 2002, where the agency ran one of its secret “black” prisons where suspected al-Qaeda detainees were interrogated using methods that included waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning widely considered torture. 

    The vote could occur before the end of the week.

    Operations officer

    The Senate Intelligence Committee’s top-ranking Democrat, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and four other Democrats expressed support for Haspel. 

    “As director of the CIA, Gina Haspel will be the first operations officer in more than five decades to lead the agency,” Warner said in a statement. 

    “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,” he said.

    She needs a majority to be confirmed in the 100-member Senate, which Republicans control 51-49. 

    During her confirmation hearing on May 9, Haspel said the CIA would not resume the programme and allow torture, even if she was ordered to do so by the president.

    Trump vowed as a candidate to resume waterboarding and promised techniques “a hell of a lot worse”.

    ‘Terrible message’

    Earlier on Wednesday, Gerald Staberock, secretary-general of the World Organization Against Torture, said Haspel’s confirmation would send a “terrible message by the US that torture is not a crime”.

    “Usually it should bring you to prison, but not into heading the country’s key intelligence office,” Staberock told Al Jazeera.

    “It’s a message to everybody in the CIA and the security apparatus that you can make a career while you torture people.”

    When Haspel visits other parts of the world she will have “zero authority” to speak out against abuse and torture, Staberock added.

    CIA nominee Gina Haspel declines to say if torture is ‘immoral’

    View the original article: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/senate-committee-confirms-trump-pick-cia-chief-180516155057213.html

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    US-North Korea summit could end decades of war, says Kim North Korean leader Kim Jong-un believes a face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore next month could "put an end to the histo...
    Israel begins building marine barrier along Gaza border Israeli naval vessels have made it difficult for Gaza's fishermen to fish beyond a certain point, usually set at six nautical miles or about 11 km an...
    Berlin: Thousands gather for far-right AfD and counterrallies Supporters of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) hold a protest in Berlin Thousands are gathering in Berlin for a far-right r...
    One family, three women, 70 years in exile Ramz, left, Zahiya, centre, and Leila, right, have created their own traditions with the rest of the family, including a weekly gathering in the fami...
    Russian troops killed during rebel raid in Syria’s Deir Az Zor According to Russia's defence ministry, 92 Russian soldiers have been killed in Syria since September 2015 Four Russian military personnel and doze...
    Israel kills three Palestinians in Gaza tank shelling Israeli tank shelling in the Gaza Strip has killed at least three people, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources. The attack on Sunday targeted ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *