President Donald Trump’s pick for the next director of the CIA will face questions on Capitol Hill over her involvement in past torture programs.
Senators from both parties raised questions about Gina Haspel, who Trump announced Tuesday morning would replace current director Mike Pompeo, who he has nominated as Secretary of State. (Both positions require Senate confirmation.)
The current deputy director of the CIA, Haspel once led an an agency “black site” in Thailand where detainees were subjected to torture. She is also linked to a decision within the agency to destroy evidence of the interrogations.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner-of-war while serving in Vietnam, called the U.S.’s torture of detainees “one of the darkest chapters in American history” and urged his colleagues to press Haspel about the role she played in it.
“Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process,” McCain said in a statement. “I know the Senate will do its job in examining Ms. Haspel’s record as well as her beliefs about torture and her approach to current law.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said in a statement that her background makes her “unsuitable” for the position. Wyden, who serves on the Select Committee on Intelligence, said that he opposes her nomination — and the promotion of Pompeo — while calling for transparency from the intelligence committee as the process moves forward.
“I feel very strongly that information about her should be declassified,” Wyden told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I think it’s really a cover-up that it hasn’t been declassified.”
Source:: Time – Politics