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: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather