Central Intelligence Agency wants Haspel to guide company to 'wonderful' future

09 May, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • BE PREPARED Susan Gordon the deputy director of national intelligence has already had her name surface as a possible replacement should Haspel falter

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to take aim at John Kerry, endorse a cabinet nominee, and announce an global phone call.

Gina Haspel told the White House on Friday that she was interested in stepping aside from the nomination if it would damage her and the agency's reputations, according to the Washington Post.

An undercover officer for most of her more than 30-year career, Haspel in 2002 briefly served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency ran one of the secret prisons where suspected al Qaeda extremists were interrogated using procedures that included waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

After meeting with Haspel for about 45 minutes, Manchin said he's "very open-minded" about her nomination and has a "curiosity" to hear what his other colleagues have to say and how she responds to questions during a confirmation hearing slated for Wednesday.

Then the president switched gears to announce that he would call President Xi of China to discuss trade and denuclearization in the Korean peninsula.

"This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone", Trump said Tuesday in a Twitter posting.

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Almost 250 Jewish clergy have signed a petition opposing President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, citing her role in the George W. Bush-era torture of prisoners. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday it was "unacceptable" how little material about Haspel has been made public - and he urged her to intervene herself. Trump has said he favors them under certain circumstances. According to a source familiar with her career, Haspel was once deployed in a conflict zone, when military officials from a hostile nation arrived without warning at an event she was attending.

The CIA responded by saying it had sent more classified documents to the Senate covering her "actual and outstanding record", beginning with her work for the agency's Counter-Terrorism Center after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Perhaps what really irks Democrats about Haspel's appointment is that she reminds them of what they were weak on during the Bush years: opposing Bush's overseas adventures, and attacking his many legal justifications for an inhumane practice that doesn't even yield good intelligence. She was scheduled to conduct multiple meetings with lawmakers who could decide her fate, a White House aide said. Senators had demanded greater transparency from the CIA over her history and on Monday the agency delivered a cardboard box full of classified documents.

"She's truly a spymaster", said one retired senior intelligence official who knows Haspel well.

Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro reports from Washington. "She is a total professional", an intelligence analyst told The Straits Times.

Using extreme interrogation techniques to pry information from detainees now is against the law, but some lawmakers worry that Trump will try to reinstate it and will get Haspel to go along.

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