Past use of torture should disqualify Central Intelligence Agency director nominee

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Former Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): "No one is better prepared, more focused, or more capable to carry out that mission than is Gina Haspel".

Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, can be called on to break a tie vote. On Wednesday, she testified publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee and addressed key questions about the CIA and torture.

He remarked: "When I voted to declassify the committee's report on the program in 2014, I wrote about my serious concerns regarding the destruction of videotapes documenting interrogation sessions and said that those involved in the decision to destroy those records against the clear direction of senior US officials should no longer be leading the agency".

Harris's query was similarly straightforward: "The president has asserted that torture works".

CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood: "Very effective opening statement from Haspel".

In an interview published on Wednesday by ProPublica, Mr. Rodriguez said he told Ms. Haspel that he was going to take matters into his own hands because he had concluded that the director at the time, Porter Goss, would never approve their destruction. There, she wrote several pieces that cast Trump's presidency in a positive light.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME notes that the president as a candidate repeatedly expressed his support for waterboarding. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he expects Haspel will be confirmed.

She says, "we don't have interrogators and we don't have interrogation expertise". Haspel did not help herself with her testimony; she asserted the agency would not engage in such conduct going forward - it is now banned by law - but resolutely declined to express regret for the program.

In one instance, Haspel was asked by Democratic Senator Kamala Harris whether she thought torture was "immoral", but Haspel appeared to dodge the question. McCain's daughter Meghan to apologize for her remark. They said Haspel also agreed that harsh interrogation tactics produced valuable intelligence.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he supports reinstating enhanced interrogation techniques that were used in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

Haspel is giving her opening remarks at a hearing before the Senate intelligence committee.

Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Young Nance: "Gina Haspel is a strong, intelligent woman of integrity who has unquestionable qualifications to serve as our nation's next Central Intelligence Agency director ... She is a 33 year veteran of the agency who will provide the leadership necessary to confront emerging threats to America's national security".

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