Gina Haspel confirmed as first female director of Central Intelligence Agency
May 18 2018
Republican Senator Roy Blunt said Thursday after the Senate's confirmation of Haspel that she is the right choice.
The CIA, where Haspel had been serving as acting director following former CIA Director Mike Pompeo's shift to the State Department, had launched an unprecedented campaign to ensure Haspel received confirmation.
Beyond Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, and Nelson, who will be targeted relentlessly by Trump and GOP forces regardless of their vote for Haspel, there were two Democratic senators who tokenized Haspel and were proud to overlook her torture past because they could say they backed the First Woman CIA Director Ever.
Before the voting process began, McConnel said that 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 internationally. And they expressed frustration that the Central Intelligence Agency - and Haspel herself - refused to make public a full accounting of her Central Intelligence Agency career and her role in the interrogation program. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sen.
Republican Senator John McCain, who has been away from Washington all year while battling brain cancer, urged the Senate not to vote for Haspel.
But Haspel secured enough votes to win confirmation with the backing of six Democrats, including Virginia Sen.
"I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me", Haspel said in a statement. Haspel was appointed its head after Zubayadah, but she was present during another severe torture case, Abdal-Rahim al-Nashiri. They said they voted for Haspel because they thought her experience was essential in confronting today's threats from USA adversaries like Russia, North Korea, China and Iran.
Her opponents argued that it wasn't right to promote someone who supervised a covert detention site in Thailand where terror suspects were waterboarded, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning.
Haspel was approved despite stiff opposition over oversight of the CIA's use of torture, including waterboarding, in the years after the September 11 attacks.
Supporters cited Haspel's 33-year career at the agency.
In debate before the vote, Senate Intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr praised the depth of her experience.
Raha Wala at Human Rights First says the Senate's decision on Thursday to confirm her was unwise. But the Senate has just confirmed that it will tolerate rot at our government's core by elevating someone linked to those atrocities to now lead the USA intelligence agency. John McCain (R-Arizona). McCain was tortured while held in captivity during the Vietnam War and has been an influential voice on the issue.