The US Senate may vote on the nomination of Gina Haspel as the next CIA Director before the Memorial Day break. Rand Paul of Kentucky is likely to vote against her and GOP Sen.
According to the Washington Post, a study the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that "the CIA's use of torture and other harsh interrogation techniques did not produce unique, critical intelligence that had not been replicated elsewhere or obtained through other means".
Two Democrats in Republican-leaning states have already backed Haspel, whose involvement at the Central Intelligence Agency while it employed such enhanced methods has been a sticking point in her confirmation process.
Haspel pledged at her confirmation hearing that she would never restart the program, in place in the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, but did not go as far as saying it should not have been started.
While Haspel is expected to easily clear the panel in a closed-door vote on Wednesday, her confirmation at the full Senate depends on winning support from key Democrats, largely those from conservative or centrist states, who are under enormous pressure from outside liberal and human rights groups to block her. "While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".
There are valid questions that have been raised regarding the Acting Director's record, and I have been frank with Ms. Haspel that I wish she had been more open with the American public during this process.
"Ms. Haspel's involvement in torture is deeply troubling, as my friend and colleague, John McCain, so eloquently reminded us". Uh, Senator Warner? You do realize that Virginia is now a blue-leaning state, certainly not North Dakota or West Virginia or IN or whatever? The statement appeared to be aimed at skeptical senators who asked Haspel whether she would restart the program if ordered to do so by Trump. Three other Democratic senators have come out in favor of Haspel - Sens. 11, 2001 strategy, said last week if it were up to him, "I'd do it again".
Warner has not yet said how he would vote ahead of the panel's closed session Wednesday.