"It is a matter of public record", Soufan wrote in The Atlantic magazine, "that Gina Haspel ... played a key role in the agency's now-defunct program of 'enhanced interrogation techniques, ' an Orwellian euphemism for a system of violence most Americans would recognize as torture". John McCain appears unlikely to be in Washington for the debate as he battles brain cancer.
Ms Haspel is highly respected within the intelligence community, and a group of intelligence officials, including former CIA director Leon Panetta and Barack Obama's director of national intelligence James Clapper, were among the signatories of a letter to the committee endorsing her nomination.
Ms Haspel met with senior figures on the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday in advance of the committee hearing.
None of the intelligence committee's seven Democrats has publicly backed Haspel because of concerns about her role in the now-defunct Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program former President George W. Bush authorized after the September 11 attacks.
Wyden and other Democrats say they're not buying it.
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Any Democrat who votes to confirm Haspel should be hounded non-stop and primaried. As CIA chief, Pompeo also came out against waterboarding. His decision not to vote for Haspel came after he met with her in a secured location and reviewed classified documents. That's the story of Haspel's 33-year career as [a] CIA operations officer, which has seen her serve as the agency's chief of station (the US intelligence community's top officer in embassies abroad) on four separate occasions. He said Democrats and other opponents have engaged in "character assassination" before giving her the opportunity to answer questions and defend herself.
Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to Langley, Va., to meet with Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.
According to many of her friends and colleagues, the nominee is a fine person and deserves to be confirmed.
Robert Ford, former USA ambassador to Syria and fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said that while US military personnel had been punished for human rights abuses such as at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, few intelligence professionals were reprimanded for their activities with the detention and interrogation program that had been approved by the White House and reviewed and approved by the Justice Department.
Mr Pruitt, a former attorney general of Oklahoma and a climate change sceptic who was appointed by Mr Trump past year to run the agency, has been embroiled in a series of controversies involving his links with lobbyists, use of first-class travel, and his costly security practices.
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During part of that period, she oversaw the CIA's secret prison in Bangkok, where Al-Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were repeatedly waterboarded during lengthy interrogations.
There are many people in this country, including government leaders, who don't want to know what the Central Intelligence Agency did to prisoners suspected of terrorism.
In the memo, Morell, who was following up on an investigation by a special prosecutor, found fault with Haspel's former boss at the time, Director of the National Clandestine Service Jose Rodriguez.
In 2014, Senate Democrats led by Feinstein issued a scathing report on the CIA's secret detention facilities and interrogation techniques, after bitter fights with the agency over what information the lawmakers could obtain and what they could release.
"I know because I looked up the court cases", Burlingame said, explaining how intelligence from detainees in black sites were used in two cases to convict terrorists. That includes Sen. John McCain - himself a former prisoner of war who was detained and tortured for five years in Vietnam - who called the US torture program "one of the darkest chapters in American history".
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