Central Intelligence Agency nominee toughens interrogation stance, picks up support

Former UFC fighter waterboards himself

While many Democrats in the Senate say they oppose Haspel's nomination because of her supervision of the harsh interrogation techniques used in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the 30-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency won support from Virginia's Mark Warner, the intelligence panel's top Democrat.

In a letter to Sen.

During her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel said she wouldn't restart the interrogation program.

The nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, said in a letter that the spy agency should not have undertaken a harsh interrogation campaign, which included waterboarding terrorism suspects, following the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again.

Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee will likely vote on Wednesday to advance Gina Haspel's nomination, despite questions about her time overseeing a black site where a detainee was tortured and about her role in destroying evidence of torture years later. And former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was integral to the post-Sept.

The four Democrats supporting Haspel are: Warner, Manchin, Joe Donnelly of IN, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. The committee's eight Republicans were joined by Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

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The intelligence committee grilled Haspel earlier this month regarding her role in the post-9/11 interrogations and the 2005 destruction of video evidence of CIA agents waterboarding terrorist suspects.

During her confirmation hearings, she refused to condemn the program, but did make a statement indicating that the agency should not have undertaken its interrogation program in which al Qaeda detainees were tortured after the September 11 attacks of 2001. Brennan is an outspoken critic of Trump but called Haspel "highly qualified" and urged senators to view her with an open mind. Joe Donnelly of IN and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota came out IN support of her late Tuesday afternoon.

"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.

The Democrats' support for Haspel is crucial, given that GOP Sen.

Manchin is facing a tough re-election challenge this year in a deep-red state, and can't afford to be painted as soft of terrorism.

"However, Ms. Haspel explained to me that the agency should not have employed such tactics in the past and has assured me that it will not do so in the future", Heitkamp added in her statement. "Her statement today that the "enhanced interrogation program is not one the Central Intelligence Agency should have undertaken" has not relieved my concerns, which are rooted in both the responsibility I feel as a Senator and in my own deeply held faith", Senator Jones said.

But four other Democrats have come out in support of Haspel, joining a majority of Republicans and all but assuring her confirmation.

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