New CIA boss Gina Haspel to face Senate grilling

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It was one of the Clinton administration's biggest counterterrorism successes. "She remains fully committed to the US laws and Army Field Manuals that govern interrogation - the legal framework in place today". Under her watch, at least two Al Qaeda terrorists, members Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, were waterboarded at that site. She worked around the clock, sleeping on the floor of her office, as agents tracked the terrorists to a local hotel, where the men were apprehended after a firefight.

The White House is pressuring lawmakers to confirm Ms Haspel.

The Senate battle over Haspel will be the focus for protests on Capital Hill by human rights activists who see her ascent as evidence that there has been no real reckoning in the intelligence agencies for the excesses of the Bush administration's "war on terror". Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency, had reportedly intercepted signals indicating that Saqr was headed to Baku to meet an Iranian intelligence operative.

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.

The votes of the committee's eight Republicans, however, would be enough to send her nomination to the full Senate. Trump administration officials talked her out of it. But she left no doubt on Monday that she's in the fight to stay.

"It'll be a dark day if she does that". For her, some of the stars on the CIA's Memorial Wall represent the names and faces of friends she has lost in the line of duty. "She's managed intelligence operations against the hardest targets, Russian Federation in particular".

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"Her confirmation is going to be interpreted not just as sweeping it under the rug, but people overseas are going to look at it as it's an implicit approval of that program", Ford told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. Democrats say she should be disqualified because she was the chief of base at a covert detention site in Thailand where two terrorism suspects were subjected to waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning. "The jobs searched for her". To vote down someone so obviously qualified as political retribution for the CIA's now-defunct interrogation program would be a travesty.

Such a nomination, if it ever came to that, would allow the White House to avoid backing down on the historic nomination of the first woman to run the agency.

Democrats complain that President Trump has repeatedly attacked our intelligence community.

Trump stepped up his involvement in the rescue effort Saturday when he spoke with Haspel by phone, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.

Both senators say they want to learn more about Haspel's 33-year career working mostly undercover at the Central Intelligence Agency. He said "there's a huge amount still to be learned" about Haspel's previous work, which is "a ideal test of what she might face right now".

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