Senate confirms Haspel to head Central Intelligence Agency

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The US Senate has approved the CIA's first female director, despite her role in the spy agency's post-9/11 interrogation programme.

The vote Thursday broke down largely along party lines.

"Torture is torture. This issue has been settled, and anyone who's been involved should not be in a leadership position or leading anything in this country, especially the CIA", Hassan Jaber, the executive director of ACCESS, a Dearborn-based Arab American organisation, told MEE when Haspel was nominated in March. "I have heard from many Agency officers, and for that matter, members of the rank and file of other Intelligence Community agencies", Warner, who had announced his intention to support Haspel on Tuesday, said. "I look forward to working with her as she helps advance and protect Americas national security interests from the daily threats we face", he said.

Raha Wala at Human Rights First says the Senate's decision on Thursday to confirm her was unwise. Her involvement in ordering the destruction, in 2005, of 92 videotapes - some of which documented the interrogations - while serving as chief of staff to then-Director of the clandestine service Jose Rodriguez was also roundly criticized.

Those speaking out in favor of Haspel's candidacy - like Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. - cited, among other things, the vast support for Haspel from within the CIA. Six Democrats ultimately broke ranks to vote for Haspel - Sen.

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel speaks during her confirmation hearing before the Senate (Select) Committee on Intelligence May 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. She is expected to be confirmed after several Democrats joined most Republicans in saying they would back President Donald Trump's nominee.

An undercover officer for most of her CIA career, Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using torture methods which included waterboarding.

Needing a simple majority, the vote finished 54-45 in the 61-year-old's favour. Joe Donnelly (IN), Sen.

President Trump congratulates Gina Haspel via twitter, as she becomes the first female Central Intelligence Agency director.

Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake and John McCain, both of Arizona, were the only three Republican Senators not to vote for Haspel during the confirmation vote. Joe Manchin (WV), Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida.

U.S. Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, was among her supporters.

In declassified intelligence of the CIA, it was said that Haspel played a big role in the brutal handling of suspected al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah who even lost an eye because of extensive torture, according to Biography.com.

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