Trump nominee for CIA director grilled by Senate

World Today

CIA nominee Gina Haspel testifies during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

United States President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the nation’s spy agency faced tough questioning on Wednesday.

Gina Haspel testified before a Senate committee as part of the confirmation process.

She was grilled about her role in the use of a former CIA interrogation technique that the United Nations considers torture.

Haspel did not apologize for the agency’s past practices.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

Nearly a decade after the United States ended the practice, waterboarding still provokes outrage.

Haspel oversaw an interrogation site where CIA agents waterboarded suspected terrorists, something the U.N. considers torture. She’s now the United States president’s pick to lead CIA and said she’s learned from the past.

“Under my leadership, on my watch, CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program,” Haspel said.

President Trump is on record saying waterboarding “works.” His predecessor, Barack Obama, banned waterboarding. Trump wants to bring it back. Haspel said she wouldn’t allow it.

“I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that i thought was immoral even if it was technically legal, I would absolutely not permit it,” Haspel said.

Nonetheless, Haspel did write the order to destroy videotapes of waterboarding of two terror suspects. She said it was necessary to protect the lives of agents pictured on the tapes. But she also said that doesn’t mean she supports the practice anymore.