Haspel wins backing of Senate panel for Central Intelligence Agency post

039;Waterboarding is pouring water on your face I’ve seen real torture'- Ex-UFC fighter Tim Kennedy

Shortly after her letter became public Tuesday, three Democratic senators announced their support for Haspel, effectively ensuring that she will be confirmed as the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Committee voted 10-5 Wednesday in favor of Haspel, who must now be confirmed before the entire Senate body before she can become the next Central Intelligence Agency director.

The committee on Wednesday voted 10 to 5 to recommend Haspel to the full Senate. But by the time he released the statement, two key swing votes on the committee, Manchin and GOP moderate Senator Susan Collins of ME, had already announced they would vote for Haspel.

Haspel's nomination has been controversial, with senators questioning her oversight in 2002 of a secret "black site" in Thailand where suspected terrorists were subjected to waterboarding and other torture techniques that were later banned.

The CIA's post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program that Haspel was involved with, as well as torture methods and waterboarding, have been contentious topics generally split along party lines.

Confirmation by the full Senate appeared likely as five Democrats - Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelley of Indiana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota - announced their support. "Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying". Haspel danced around those queries by saying she would not restart the program and that she supports the current "stricter moral standard" after Congress changed the law. "We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments". Of those six Democrats, four have said they are voting for Haspel, Sen.

McCain, who was beaten as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, has urged colleagues to reject the nominee over her past role in Central Intelligence Agency interrogations.

Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again.

"Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the president if ordered to do something illegal or immoral - like a return to torture", Mr. Warner said.

But opponents of Haspel's nomination lament that McCain's fellow Republicans are paying little heed to the Navy veteran's warnings about Haspel.

A letter from more than 100 former USA ambassadors said Haspel's confirmation would undermine diplomatic efforts to discourage torture by tyrants in other countries.

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