New CIA Director Gina Haspel, appointed by Donald Trump, Washington, USA, March 13, 2018
Gina Haspel, chosen by Donald Trump to lead the CIA, spends Wednesday his big oral in front of the US Senate, a high-risk hearing where it should promise to prevent the resumption of torture programs of the intelligence agency introduced after the attacks of September 11th.
The 61-year-old spy master, who has spent 33 years with the Langley, Virginia-based agency, has created controversy over running a secret CIA prison for at least part of 2002. Thailand, where detainees suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda were frequently tortured.
These sessions included drunken simulacres (“waterboarding”) that were banned by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Later, when she became a senior CIA official, Gina Haspel was involved in the destruction of videos showing “enhanced interrogations,” the euphemism used by the George W. Bush administration.
“I understand that many across the country want to know what my positions are on the CIA’s former detention and interrogation program,” said Gina Haspel, according to an excerpt from her statement.
“Having served during this tumultuous period, I can assure you of my personal and unreserved commitment, that under my direction the CIA will not resume such a program of interrogation and detention”, she should declare before the Senate commission of the intelligence.
– “Hard against terrorism” –
Gina Haspel has the full support of Donald Trump.
“My highly respected candidate to lead the CIA is hailed as it has been and will always be HARD AGAINST TERRORISM!”, Tweeted Tuesday the US president.
But among the 13 members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (7 Republicans, 6 Democrats), some are skeptical.
Four Democrats (Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein, Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich) have asked Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, to release by Wednesday all classified secret-defense documents related to Haspel’s role in police programs. interrogation of the CIA.
Feinstein, for her part, worried about “promoting a person so involved in the CIA’s torture program, the agency responsible for one of the darkest chapters in our history.”
Since 2016, Donald Trump has had conflicting statements about torture. He defends her in a personal capacity but has conditioned a possible return to an opinion from his Minister of Defense, Jim Mattis, who is opposed.
The confirmation hearing starts at 09:30 local time (13:30 GMT) and some of the debates should be public.
Ms. Haspel made several simulations with her team to prepare for this exercise and answer questions without disclosing any confidential information.
The result of the hearing will be announced later. It will then influence the vote – hoped by the Republicans by the end of May – of the upper house of Congress, where Republicans have a narrow majority (51 against 49). A possible loss of voice in the government camp would therefore cost Ms. Haspel her confirmation.
This eventuality caused a mini-crisis, the candidate having proposed Friday to give up her position according to the American press, before being persuaded by the advisers of the White House to continue.
– Johnny Cash Fan –
This photo taken from a video of October 2017 shows Gina Haspel during a party in Washington. A mystery surrounds the woman named by Donald Trump at the head of the CIA, because of the years she spent working in hiding for the agency
The concern seems to be related to unpublished documents that show that the official has authorized the torture programs with more enthusiasm than previously imagined.
But committee chairman, Republican Richard Burr, said he was confident of his confirmation, underscoring the near-consensus on his ability to lead the CIA.
He also rejected the possibility of declassification of documents concerning clandestine actions.
The life of Gina Haspel, smiling, with brown hair up to her shoulders and dressed in a colorful dress when meeting senators on Monday and Tuesday, is surrounded by mystery, having spent most of her career in secret services of the CIA.
Her short biography mentions that, daughter of a member of the US Air Force, she joined the intelligence agency in 1985. She rose through the ranks, moving from Africa’s acting officer to head of post in Europe and Europe. Asia, to the Agency’s anti-terrorist center, which it joined on September 11, 2001, when several attacks in New York and Washington killed nearly 3,000 people.
Eleven years later, she was named Deputy Director of Global Underground Operations and then Deputy Director of the CIA in 2017. She is to succeed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.
She speaks Spanish, French, Russian and Turkish, and loves country singer Johnny Cash.