Vulnerable Democrat announces support for Trump's controversial Central Intelligence Agency pick

Gina Haspel's torture stance makes her unfit to lead CIA, says John McCain

Haspel defends torture of terrorism suspects

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is still a likely "no" vote on Haspel, and Arizona Sen. Because he is undergoing treatment for brain cancer, McCain is not expected to be in Washington for the final vote.

The nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency has yielded an important public benefit: Another reckoning with our government's shameful practice of torture - and a renewed declaration that torture is is a gross violation of American values.

With two Democrats now backing her nomination-the first to do so was Sen.

With a statement on Saturday that doesn't once mention the word "torture", Sen.

Haspel is a career CIA officer who has spent much of her time at the agency working under cover.

The nominee for CIA director oversaw the use of enhanced interrogation methods - later deemed to be torture by the Senate Intelligence Committee - on detainees at a "black site" in Thailand after the 9/11 attacks. "Haspel expressed to me her commitment to be responsive to congressional oversight and to provide her unvarnished assessment - both to members of Congress and the president".

Haspel has been working to overcome questions about her role in last decade's controversial interrogation program.

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During that time, she ordered prisoners to be interrogated using techniques like waterboarding and sleep deprivation. Haspel has herself vowed that the so-called detention and interrogation program will not resume under her directorship.

Brutal interrogation practices are now banned under USA law, but debate on the issue has re-surfaced during Haspel's confirmation process because she was once involved in the CIA's interrogation program.

"Her resume could hardly be better tailored for the specific challenges that our nation faces at this very moment", he said in a recent Senate speech.

Haspel's chances of winning confirmation improved following a hearing that, while contentious, featured no major missteps by the nominee. Nevertheless, she managed to cowardly suggest that - in fairness to other covert employees - she would not allow public discussion of her decades spent in clandestine activities.

Trump was joined at the IN campaign rally by Pence, a former IN governor, and urged GOP voters to mobilize and prevent Democrats from regaining control of Congress. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat, said at the top of the hearing.

Others include Sens. Angus King from Maine, Doug Jones from Alabama, Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, Bill Nelson from Florida and Claire McCaskill from Missouri.

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