New Hampshire's senators split on support for Central Intelligence Agency nominee

Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA, first woman to hold post

Despite the opposition of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, the United States Senate today voted to confirm torturer Gina Haspel to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, further harming the United States' worldwide standing and handing Donald Trump another victory.

Thursday's vote was 54-45.

Six Democrats joined President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in voting for Ms Haspel, and two Republicans voted no.

"In this position, she assists the D/CIA in managing intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign services", the CIA explained.

Rights groups quickly condemned the vote. But to the frustration of many senators, she refused to condemn the program and said it had been legal at the time. "I was not on the sidelines, I was on the frontlines in the Cold War and I was on the frontlines in the fight against Al Qaeda", she said in response to a question from Sen. 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.

She has won praise from Washington insiders - including Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, but faced tough questions on the Hill about her connection to sites where waterboarding took place.

Nick Read to head Vodafone
Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao delivers a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. Read has been CFO since April 2014 and was previously CEO for the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region.

"Gina Haspel and the CIA have committed one of the most blatant abuses of power in recent history, aided and abetted by a total failure of Congressional oversight", Intelligence Committee member Sen. Had all the Democratic senators stuck together, Haspel would not have been confirmed today. Haspel is now the CIA's deputy director.

Haspel's nomination reopened debate about the CIA's now-defunct program of detaining terror suspects overseas at secret lockups and subjecting them to harsh interrogation techniques. Joe Manchin (WV), Sen. Joe Donnelly of IN and Sen.

Haspel pledged to lawmakers that she would "never ever" take the Central Intelligence Agency back to enhanced interrogation techniques.

Meanwhile, Republican Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Flake voted against Haspel. Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida.

Republican Senator John McCain, who is undergoing cancer treatment outside of Washington, did not vote. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Senate Intelligence Committee vice-chair Sen.

More than 100 former United States ambassadors who served both Republican and Democratic presidents sent the Senate a letter opposing Haspel, saying that despite her credentials, confirming her would give authoritarian leaders around the world the license to say U.S. behavior is "no different from ours".

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