John McCain urges Senate to reject Gina Haspel's nomination for Central Intelligence Agency director

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel waves as she arrives for her meeting

Faith and human rights organizations across the USA have sent letters to senators asking them to oppose Trump's e nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, citing her role in the CIA torture program.

McCain serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, but is now in Arizona, where he is being treated for brain cancer and is not expected to be present for the vote on Haspel's nomination.

Haspel's involvement in the torture program, and the destruction of evidence of that torture program, raises a lot of concerns about how valuable her "strong moral compass" really is.

Many, however, are anxious that Haspel's nomination will send risky signals about the the rest of the world, and give its adversaries an excuse to say the US continues to advocate for torture. "I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination", his statement continued.

Haspel reportedly led a secret black site in Thailand where torture techniques were used on detainees. He was not released until 1973. She added that she doesn't think Trump would ever ask the Central Intelligence Agency to resume waterboarding, which simulates drowning. "Gina Haspel, my highly respected nominee to lead the C.I.A., is being praised for the fact that she has been, and alway will be, TOUGH ON TERROR!" he tweeted Tuesday. "For me, there is no better example of implementing lessons learned than what the agency took away from the detention and interrogation programme". Haspel said only that the CIA did "extraordinary work" to prevent another attack on the us after September 11, using the legal tools the agency was provided.

"It is important to recall the context of those challenging times immediately following 9/11", she said.

"I excelled in finding and acquiring secret information that I obtained in brush passes, dead drops, or in meetings in dusty back alleys of third world capitals", she said.

"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.

Despite having spent her career with the CIA, Haspel's nomination has been considered somewhat controversial because of her involvement in the George W. Bush administration's interrogation program after 9/11.

She said she wrote the 2005 order to destroy the tapes at the request of her boss, Jose Rodriguez, who was head of the CIA's clandestine service at the time.

Haspel has vowed not to restart any enhanced interrogation program, and said she would resist an order from the president to waterboard any detainees.

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.

Collins also brought up the issue of waterboarding when she and King were involved in questioning Haspel during her appearance before the committee Wednesday morning.

Bayh, a Democrat from IN, and Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia, served on the Senate intelligence committee during Haspel's tenure at the CIA.

Gina Haspel scares me.

Haspel has the backing of those within the agency as well as former CIA chiefs, both Democrats and Republicans. She appeared to find it shortly after the hearing when Democrat Joe Manchin said he would support her. Nor will I support the USA government using enhanced interrogation techniques again. The Justice Department also investigated, but no charges were filed.

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