Wednesday's Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on the nomination of Gina Haspel as director of the US Central Intelligence Agency provided a revealing exposure of the criminality of the US intelligence apparatus as well as the disintegration of democratic processes within America's capitalist state. She presently holds the official title of Deputy Director.
Dianne Feinstein, a former chairwoman of the intelligence committee who's in a tough primary battle back home in California, suggested Ms. Haspel was hiding something from the public about her role in "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding. She did not answer when Sen.
Haspel can not afford to lose any additional Republican support. However, Ms. Haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing, " said a statement from McCain, who faced torture during his almost six years as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War.
There was a farcical element to the hearing, with Democrats asking Haspel to condemn the torture that she supervised as "immoral".
"I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination", said McCain, who has been undergoing treatment for brain cancer and has been absent from the Senate for months. She emphasized repeatedly that the techniques had been authorized by the USA government's highest legal authorities and by President George W. Bush. Since Republican Senator Rand Paul said he plans to vote against Haspel, she needed to pick up at least on Democratic vote. They developed a series of "harsh interrogation" tactics meant to make subjects feel helpless, and therefore cooperative, and they sometimes carried them out firsthand, including hands-on participation of interrogating terrorism suspects at a site where Haspel was the officer in charge.
"Do you believe the previous techniques, now armed with hindsight - do you believe they were immoral, yes or no?"
He proved to be an outlier, as the other Democrats on the committee peppered her with questions over whether she would be a check on Mr. Trump.
The president drew harsh criticism during the 2016 campaign when he disputed that McCain is a war hero, saying he prefers war heroes "who weren't captured". "Do you agree with that statement?" She said she had a "great reputation" with the president and his inner circle, adding that "the president does turn to me for my view on certain countries and certain experiences". McCain said Haspel had a chance to "explain her involvement in the so-called enhanced interrogation program during the Bush administration, and account for the mistakes the country made in torturing detainees held" after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He called Haspel the most qualified person - man or woman - to ever be nominated for the job.
McCain's opposition to Haspel's nomination marked the latest instance in which the Arizona senator broke with Trump.
Haspel said she would put more intelligence officers in the field overseas and says there has been an outpouring of support from young women at the CIA who hope she becomes the first female CIA director.
So: Has Haspel's willingness to swim upstream against her moral code changed?
Haspel refused to offer any such promises.More news: Tiger back for Wells Fargo looking to build