Heitkamp backs Haspel to lead Central Intelligence Agency

Haspel Now Says CIA Waterboarding Never Should Have Happened

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, declared that the agency should not have undertaken its interrogation program in which al-Qaida detainees were tortured after the September 11 attacks - a condemnation she refused to make at her confirmation hearing last week.

Haspel appears to have a lock on confirmation, with a vote in the Intelligence Committee expected for Wednesday.

She is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as next week, although that vote likely also will be close.

Brutal interrogation practices are now banned under United States law, but debate on the issue has re-surfaced during Haspel's confirmation process because she was once involved in the CIA's interrogation program.

Haspel said that if she was given the order again, she would not support it. Her written comments went farther than ones she made at her confirmation hearing.

An undercover officer for most of her career, Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods including waterboarding, which is widely viewed as torture.

Shots fired towards Israeli communities in the Golan
Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a moved no recognised internationally. Israel responded by attacking anti-aircraft positions in Syria, but an Israeli warplane was shot down during the battle.

Warner's announcement came after Haspel wrote him to say the Central Intelligence Agency should never have run a harsh detention and interrogation program after 9/11. Mark Warner, D-Va., who is among key Democrats whose votes will be crucial in the narrowly divided GOP Senate, especially after Republican Sen.

Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp all are running for reelection in states that Trump won by wide margins in 2016.

He also cited the support for Haspel by former CIA directors under the Obama administration, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and General Michael Hayden, first appointed director of the National Security Agency by Democratic President Bill Clinton and later CIA director under George W. Bush.

"Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America", Paul said in an interview as he left the Senate for the week on Thursday. "I think what we did helped ultimately produce the intelligence we needed to be able to get (Osama) bin Laden", Cheney said.

Warner has not yet said how he would vote ahead of the panel's closed session Wednesday.

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