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US Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA

IANS  |  Washington 

The US has confirmed to be the country's first female of the CIA, despite her ties to the agency's past controversial interrogation programme.

The confirmation on Thursday comes a day after the voted 10-5 in favour of to lead the agency, news agency reported.

was confirmed in a 54-45 vote on Thursday. While three Republican senators opposed her nomination, Haspel secured enough votes with the backing of six

The nomination came under fire for Haspel's past ties to the CIA's former rendition, detention and interrogation activities, carried out in the years following the September 11 attacks, with the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding, now widely considered

In 2002, Haspel supervised a secret prison in where harsh interrogations were conducted and she destroyed CIA interrogation tapes years later. Her specific role in the program remains classified.

Opponents of her nomination included more than 100 retired admirals and generals, who said her role in the agency's use of would encourage foreign governments to American soldiers.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, supported Haspel's nomination.

"I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the president, who will speak truth to power if this orders her to do something illegal or immoral, like a return to torture," Warner said in a speech before the vote.

In a letter dated May 14 to Warner, Haspel wrote that the interrogation program "is not one the CIA should have undertaken."

"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," she added.

The letter represented a stronger stance on the controversial program than Haspel took during her confirmation hearing last week.

Haspel, an undercover for most of her 33-year career with the CIA, promised then that the program would not be restarted under her leadership, but did not go as far as saying it should not have been started.

The 61-year-old native became acting CIA following her predecessor Mike Pompeo's resignation to become US and was nominated by Trump to become the permanent in March.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 05:18 IST
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