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John McCain calls on Senate to reject CIA nominee Gina Haspel

Sen. John McCain called on the Senate to reject Gina Haspel's nomination to be the director of the CIA, citing her re...

Posted: May 10, 2018 11:12 AM
Updated: May 10, 2018 11:12 AM

Sen. John McCain called on the Senate to reject Gina Haspel's nomination to be the director of the CIA, citing her refusal in testimony on Wednesday to acknowledge "torture's immorality."

"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense," the Arizona Republican said in a statement Wednesday evening.

"However, Ms. Haspel's role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination," his statement continued.

McCain serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, but is currently in Arizona, where he is being treated for brain cancer and is not expected to be present for the vote on Haspel's nomination.

Haspel was tapped by President Donald Trump to take the place of now-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had been heading the CIA prior to the departure of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Despite having spent her career with the CIA, Haspel's nomination has been considered somewhat controversial because of her involvement in the George W. Bush administration's interrogation program after 9/11. Her role in the program was addressed several times during her confirmation hearing, but she told the senators that under her watch, she would not allow the CIA to resume interrogations.

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

However, Haspel declined to criticize the agency for its past techniques, like waterboarding, which critics say amounted to torture.

"I'm not going to sit here with the benefit of hindsight and judge the very good people who made hard decisions who were running the agency in very extraordinary circumstances at the time," Haspel said.

McCain said her testimony "failed to address" concerns over her involvement and the US' previous tactics used on prisoners after the 9/11 terror attacks.

"Like many Americans, I understand the urgency that drove the decision to resort to so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked," McCain said. "I know that those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect Americans from harm. I appreciate their dilemma and the strain of their duty. But as I have argued many times, the methods we employ to keep our nation safe must be as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world."

McCain was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he was tortured, and has been a vocal critic of the US' use of torture. In November 2017, he opposed Steven Bradbury's nomination for general counsel of the Department of Transportation because of his involvement in the "torture memos," which outlined a legal justification for various interrogation techniques, like waterboarding.

CNN reported earlier Wednesday that several Republican senators remained undecided on how they would vote but Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was opposed to her nomination.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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