Trump's CIA Director Nominee Reportedly Wanted To Withdraw

Marsha Scott
May 7, 2018

- With few details about Gina Haspel's undercover career, debate over President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA descended into verbal spatting between those who praise her experience and others who want her disqualified because of her role in the spy agency's harsh interrogation of terror subjects after 9/11.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Haspel met with White House officials on Friday to discuss her involvement in an interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration that used techniques that are widely regarded as torture.

White House officials apparently rushed to support Haspel Friday and secure her as a nominee ahead of Wednesday's Senate hearing.

The lastminute came ahead of everything will be always a challenging grilling of Ms. Haspel over her function at the C.I.A.'s interrogation program created within the wake of the September 11 strikes, for example covert prisons the agency found across the globe to interrogate suspects.

In comments meant to soften the public profile of Gina Haspel before her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, two administration officials said she was not the "architect" of the torture programme, but a "line officer" who never personally interrogated any terrorism suspects.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Faiz Shakir, the ACLU's national political director, claims that Haspel's nomination is "clearly on the rocks" and that she would fail if the Senate held her confirmation vote today. And Trump ancouraged Haspel to continue as his nominee.

Trump named Haspel, the first woman tapped to head the agency, to succeed Mike Pompeo, who became secretary of state last month.

Former president George W. Bush authorized the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Sources familiar with her career who requested anonymity said that at one point she was the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency station in a country where harsh interrogations were used on at least one terrorism suspect.

Haspel's supporters argue that while she drafted the cable, Rodriguez sent it without the approval of CIA Director Porter Goss and without informing Haspel that he would do so.

With McCain's absence, Republicans have a 50-49 margin in the Senate. The 33-year-old veteran of the force served most of her career nearly entirely undercover and much of her record is classified.

Years after, when the C.I.A. wished to call Ms. Haspel to run clandestine operations, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who afterward chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, obstructed the pro motion over Ms. Haspel's role in the interrogation plan and the devastation of those tapes.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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