Lawmakers plan to grill U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Nominee Gina Haspel faces criticism for her role in the interrogations of key terrorist suspects.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
Gina Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA came in a tweet on March 13.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump noted she’s the first woman to be chosen to lead the agency, but she’s not the first Trump cabinet nominee to face opposition.
Haspel reportedly oversaw interrogation sites for the CIA and in 2005, drafted a cable ordering tapes of two interrogations destroyed. Those tapes show suspects being waterboarded, which the top UN torture expert calls torture.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, has appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump not to reconsider the acceptability of waterboarding and other methods of torture used as interrogation techniques.
In March, more than two dozen civil liberty groups sent a letter to Senate lawmakers asking them to delay Haspel’s consideration, expressing “strong concerns” about her role in the program. Haspel has said she was following the orders of her superiors.
In April, the CIA declassified a memo from its deputy director written in 2011, declaring that it found no fault with Haspel’s performance.
On May 9th, the public will finally hear Haspel’s take. during her nomination hearing. According to Reuters news agency, Haspel will use the hearing to promise never to restart such interrogation and detention programs again.