Red State Democrat Doug Jones To Vote Against Haspel Nomination

Nellie Chapman
May 16, 2018

Gina Haspel is a step closer to becoming the next CIA director after the US Senate Intelligence Committee voted to advance her nomination.

Haspel was favorably reported out of the Committee by a vote of 10-5 and her nomination will now be considered by the full Senate.

Two of the committee's seven Democrats are supporting Haspel, including Virginia's Sen.

"This country has not held any officials accountable for the use of torture, so it's even more outrageous that the government is considering someone to the chief intelligence position in spite of her alleged participation in that clearly illegal and immoral activity", she said.

'I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, ' she said, while conceding that 'the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world'. "In my view, her failure to take personal responsibility for any role she might have played in the CIA's detention and interrogation program and her conflicting replies to questions about the destruction of videotapes related to the program make her unsuitable to lead the Central Intelligence Agency". John McCain of Arizona urged colleagues to reject the nominee over her past role in the CIA's 'enhanced interrogations'.

The full Senate will still have to vote to officially confirm her.

One surprise announcement regarding Haspel's nomination on Tuesday came from Sen.

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Bolstering the comments she made during her hearing, Haspel wrote, "I do not support use of enhanced interrogation techniques for any objective". Some of Ms. Haspel's past actions and beliefs did not meet that standard.

Yes, torture was used at her prison but it was legally-authorized at the time and she knows full well that those techniques are outlawed today.

The Democrats who have elected to vote for Haspel have all cited the confidence she has of the agency's rank-and-file and the broader intelligence community.

Jones's announcement comes as Haspel appears to have a lock on the confirmation, with several Democratic senators coming out in support of her on Tuesday.

"The torture of detainees in USA custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history", McCain said in a statement.

"With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken", Haspel said in written answers to some 60 additional questions from lawmakers. Jeff Flake, who pointed to it last week as compelling and indicated it could influence his decision - suddenly putting the nomination in jeopardy.

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