Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead C.I.A. Despite Torture Concerns

As a veteran clandestine officer, she lived and labored in secret and has by no means performed any sort of public function. The C.I.A., usually reticent to draw consideration to the work of its operatives, undertook an overt campaign to support Ms. Haspel’s nomination, declassifying facets of her profession to construct a optimistic public picture and authorizing a cadre of former officers to communicate with reporters. Behind the scenes, former high-level officers from the company pressed senators to get behind her nomination.

Their efforts labored.

Her affirmation “will send a signal to the current work force and to the work force of the future that a lifetime commitment to the agency can and will be rewarded,” Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, mentioned on Thursday.

Other urgent points earlier than the company — together with the unwinding of the Iran nuclear deal, resurgent Chinese aggression world wide, the struggle in opposition to terrorism and the investigations into Russia’s election interference — obtained quick shrift as senators homed in on Ms. Haspel’s document. Most senators requested about them solely in written questions after her affirmation listening to.

Almost all particulars about Ms. Haspel’s document on the company have been labeled, and officers there defied calls from some lawmakers to make them obtainable to the general public forward of the vote.

At her affirmation listening to, Ms. Haspel mentioned she would obey present regulation and vowed by no means to restart a detention and interrogation program just like the one she was concerned in additional than a decade in the past. But to the frustration of many senators, she refused to condemn this system and mentioned it had been authorized on the time.

She modified course in a letter to Mr. Warner this week.

“With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the C.I.A. should have undertaken,” she wrote. “The United States must be an example to the rest of the world, and I support that.”

She continued: “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.”

The letter gained over Mr. Warner and a handful of different Democrats. But liberal senators, and Republicans like Mr. McCain who adamantly oppose using torture, weren’t pacified.

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