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US Senate panel approves Haspel as new CIA chief despite torture claims

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A key Committee today approved the nomination of to become the new of the CIA despite the bitter debate over her role in the used by the US on detainees in the early 2000s.

Her nomination now goes to the full for confirmation. If confirmed, she would be the first woman of the

The Select passed Haspel's nomination by 10-5 votes.

All eight Republicans and two of the seven on the Senate supported The remaining five had already announced their opposition and did not change their minds.

Haspel, a career intelligence officer, told Senators she would not agree to restart such an interrogation programme in future, but she has avoided decrying as immoral per se.

Haspel, 61, faced questions over her work running a where terror suspects were brutally interrogated in the years after the 9/11 attacks. Senators also want more information about her role destroying videos of the sessions.

At a hearing last week, refused to say if she thought torture was immoral. Senator of said her role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying.

Senator Richard Burr, of the on Intelligence, said, "is the most qualified person the could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the Agency."

She has acted morally, ethically, and legally, over a distinguished 30-year career and is the right person to lead the Agency into an uncertain and challenging future, he said.

As of the CIA, will be the in more than five decades to lead the Agency. I believe that she will be a strong advocate for the Agency's workforce, and an independent voice who can and will stand up on behalf of our nation's intelligence community, said.

Applauding the Intelligence Committee's favourable, bipartisan vote in support of Haspel's nomination to be CIA Director, Senator urged the Senate to confirm her nomination.

With over 30 years of CIA experience, she is perhaps the most qualified person ever nominated for this critical national security role. Her nomination enjoys the support of six former CIA Directors who have served under Republican and Democratic presidents, he said.

"With the multitude of national security threats facing the US, it is crucial that policymakers have the best intelligence possible as they make decisions to protect and promote US interests. There is no learning curve at the CIA for Gina Haspel.

She will ensure the CIA remains the world's finest intelligence agency, and I urge all my colleagues to support her on the Senate floor, Rubio said.

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

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 23:25 IST