Haspel deftly handles the questions and the attitudes.
Rumor has it that President Donald Trump is soon going to send Mike Pompeo on another rescue mission.
The target? CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel, who had to undergo two tortuous exchanges with the US senators from California during her confirmation hearing.
The Junior Senator, Kamala Harris, lived down to my abysmal expectations for her. Harris’ overbearing questions about morality were demeaning, nonsensical, and completely devoid of relevance to today’s security needs.
Earlier on Wednesday, Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the agency who is currently serving as acting director, vowed not to restart the CIA’s controversial detention and interrogation program during a confirmation hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
However, Haspel declined to answer “yes or no” during a tense exchange with Harris when the senator asked whether the use of interrogation tactics that critics say amount to torture was immoral.
“I believe that CIA did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use,” Haspel said in response to the senator’s question.
Personally, I was delighted to see Haspel defend the good work of her colleagues. The only way, in my opinion, it could have gone better would have been if Haspel called Harris “ma’am“.
Despite the sober, polite, and informed responses, Harris will not vote to confirm Haspel. Harris gave the following rationale for her upcoming vote:
Harris said her decision to oppose Haspel’s nomination is “not about the integrity of the men and women of that agency or its mission” but rather “about whether this particular person should head that agency.” The senator said she is concerned that Haspel “is not the best signal to the workforce of that agency, to the American people or to our neighbors around the globe”.
But we all know the real reason it’s a “no”: TRUMP!
The Senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein, questioned Haspel by using inaccurate information that has since been corrected by the original author.
The passage in question was written by former CIA lawyer John Rizzo in the book Company Man, and reports citing his book claimed Haspel ran an interrogation program at a CIA site where al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah was interrogated, but Rizzo has corrected that claim. Feinstein asked her question after saying she likes Haspel “personally very much,” and Haspel took the opportunity to correct the senator regarding Rizzo’s writing.
“Senator, I am so pleased you asked me that question,” Haspel said before saying she did not run the program and noting Rizzo corrected the record.
“If you have your staff check, Mr. Rizzo has issued a correction,” Haspel said.
Feinstein at least has the potential to be more reasonable when it comes to nominees named by Republicans.
“It’s no secret I’ve had concerns in the past with her connection to the CIA torture program and have spent time with her discussing this,” the senator said in a statement. But she added, “To the best of my knowledge she has been a good deputy director.”
Feinstein told The Bee Editorial Board that she had Haspel over to her home for dinner after the latter moved from London, where she’d served as chief of station for the CIA’s Europe Division back to Washington, D.C. in 2017 to take over as deputy director of the CIA.
However, because Feinstein is facing a more challenging election cycle than usual, I anticipate she will also be a no vote. Why?
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.