U.S. president's nomination for Central Intelligence Agency director, Gina Haspel, draws criticism

Carla Harmon
March 21, 2018

Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, wrote a recent Op-Ed examining how CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's choice to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, could impact the administration's Middle East policy.

Trump said that Tillerson's slated replacement, acting CIA Director Mike Pompeo, had "a very similar thought process", prompting speculation that the White House may leave the deal, as it has long threatened to do despite pleas from the other five signatories, which support the agreement. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said he has no plans at the moment to urge Democrats to vote against the two, even as he added that Pompeo's confirmation process will be a referendum on the administration's policy toward Russian Federation.

The worldwide network of secret prisons were launched following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a report by CNBC.

Her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee will turn in part on her role in the CIA's covert program under President George W. Bush in which suspected terrorists were subjected to harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

One absent Republican and one Republican voting "no" would mean the rejection of a nomination, given the current make-up of the Senate, if every Democrat also stands united in opposition.

Despite Senator Paul's dissent, the move is not a deal-breaker for Pompeo and Haspel. However, the evidence - including Pompeo's efforts to urge Trump to decertify the Iran deal - suggest the opposite. I think she's absolutely disqualified. Republicans have a slim 11-10 advantage on the committee, and Paul's "no" vote could allow Democrats to vote down Pompeo's nomination.

Paul referenced past comments by Haspel in which he said she was "basically gleeful" about men being tortured and that she seemed to "enjoy" the interrogations.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who blocked Haspel's promotion to acting head of the CIA's clandestine service in 2013 for her involvement in the torture program, offered some praise for the nominee on Tuesday, but did not say how she planned to vote.

You could say that I'm Trump bashing, and, yes, I guess I am.

"I'm perplexed by the nomination of people who love the Iraq War so much that they would advocate for a war with Iran next", Paul said of Pompeo, according to Politico.

During his confirmation hearing to be Central Intelligence Agency director previous year, Pompeo said he would "absolutely not" bring back those techniques.

The inaugural dialogue was earlier expected to have taken place in New Delhi in 2017, but Mattis and Tillerson's travel schedules didn't work out and they were unable to be in India together - the defence secretary visited in September, followed by the secretary of state a month later.

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