Retired Military Leaders Oppose Gina Haspel to Head CIA

Feinsten Grows Testy Over Accusations of Left-Wing Pressure to Oppose Trump Nominees: 'That's Your Interpretation'

The CIA has been weighing the need to protect Haspel and its army of undercover operative while trying to placate intelligence committee Democrats who want as much as light to be shed on her career as possible.

The CIA is refusing to declassify information about director nominee Gina Haspel's career at the agency, infuriating several Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee who said the decision was "unacceptable".

"Concealing her background when no sources and methods are at stake shows nothing but contempt for the Senate and public", the senators said.

In the letter, the former USA military leaders also suggested senators ask for a full declassification, with necessary redactions, of information related to Haspel's involvement in the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" programs which allow torture and other unlawful abuse of detainees.

"I care about who is head of the CIA, and I'm going to do my due diligence, have a chance to ask her questions in the public arena and we'll do just that, and then we'll make up my mind whether I believe she's an appropriate person to head this agency", Feinstein said. "This transparency is especially critical in light of her serving undercover for the bulk of her career". Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate's confirmation process needs a revamp MORE, the news outlet noted.

The letter cites reports that Haspel, who has worked at the Central Intelligence Agency since 1985, ran a Central Intelligence Agency "black site" at which at least one detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was repeatedly tortured, including by waterboarding.

"Ms. Haspel also appears to have strongly advocated for and played a key role in carrying out an order to destroy 92 videotapes of individuals in USA custody being subjected to torture", the former leaders said in their letter. Feinstein, Zubaydah was left by the torture "completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth".

Before Haspel took over at the site, another detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was tortured nearly to death.

"Although a large amount of information about the former RDI Program has already been publicly acknowledged, CIA still protects information regarding CIA personnel involved in the RDI Program as well as information about the operation and location of any overseas detention facilities", the agency said in its letter to the senators.

"If the record shows that Ms. Haspel played any role in carrying out, supervising, or directing any form of torture or detainee abuse, or the destruction of evidence relating to these activities, we urge you to reject her nomination", they wrote. "To date, we have received no responses to letters written by one or more of us", the letter said.

Haspel's nomination is tinged with controversy, and has fuelled fears that President Donald Trump is assembling a "War Cabinet", with hardliners like Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and potentially Gina Haspel occupying key positions in his administration.

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