Human rights groups are lamenting the Senate confirmation of Gina Haspel to be CIA director because of her direct involvement in the spy agency's harsh detention and interrogation program.
Gina Haspel was confirmed by the Senate to run the CIA Thursday, despite some lingering concerns over her role in the use of torture techniques while acting as station chief in Thailand.
Haspel's nomination moved ahead despite stiff opposition - including from at least three of Trump's fellow Republicans - over her part in the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning widely considered torture, in the years after the September 11 attacks.
"Gina Haspel is among one of the most qualified people to be nominated to be director of the CIA", Warner said.
It became clear Wednesday that Haspel would be confirmed after she won the endorsement of the Senate Intelligence Committee by a vote of 10-5. "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".
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, also up for reelection, said that he believed Haspel "has learned from the past, and that the Central Intelligence Agency under her leadership can help our country confront serious worldwide threats and challenges".
The senator has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has been an ally of McCain, who urged his colleagues recently to reject Haspel's nomination.
McConnell steered the confirmation swiftly past opponents, including the ailing Republican Sen.
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A 33-year veteran of the CIA, Haspel will be the first woman to lead the agency and is now serving as its acting director.
But the White House pushed forward on Haspel, and in her confirmation hearing last week she did enough to secure votes from Democrats who were on the fence, even as she repeatedly danced around questions about whether she thought the Bush-era interrogation program was immoral.
"I would not restart, under any circumstances, an interrogation program at CIA", Haspel testified.
Haspel's nomination to lead the spy agency revived a debate on its now-banned torture program. Mark Warner of Virginia and Sen. She is expected to be confirmed after several Democrats joined most Republicans in saying they would back President Donald Trump's nominee.
Haspel, 61, is widely respected in the intelligence community.
Among Democrats supporting Haspel are several who are up for re-election this fall in states where Trump is popular, including Sens.
"That said, as a red state Democrat, she has to approach every vote in a calculated way and as though it will matter, and I think that's what's going on here", Kondik said.