Russian company indicted pleads not guilty

Russian company indicted pleads not guilty

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, on Wednesday affirmed that, should she be confirmed, she will not bring back the agency's controversial rendition, detainee, and interrogation program.

10 Mayıs 2018 - 02:00

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, on Wednesday affirmed that, should she be confirmed, she will not bring back the agency's controversial rendition, detainee, and interrogation program.

Interested in Trump Administration?

Add Trump Administration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Trump Administration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Trump Administration
Add Interest

“I can offer you my personal commitment clearly, and without reservation, that under my leadership, on my watch, CIA will not restart a detention and interrogation program. CIA has learned some tough lessons from that experience," Haspel said during the confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "We were asked to tackle a mission that fell outside our expertise. For me, there is no better example of implementing lessons learned than what CIA took away from that program.”

Haspel, poised to potentially become the first woman to head the CIA faced pointed questions during the hearing about her reported role in the CIA's "black sites" — overseas prisons the agency used to hold top al Qaeda terrorists.

"PHOTO:Alex Brandon/AP
CIA nominee Gina Haspel is sworn in during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, May 9, 2018, in Washington.

Under tough questioning from ranking Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, Haspel reiterated the promise: “I would never ever take CIA back to an interrogation program”.

The mood in the room was tense.

Several Code Pink protesters were escorted out of the hearing room by police after they began yelling anti-torture chants.

"PHOTO:Alex Brandon/AP
A protestor is removed from the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing room before the start of the confirmation hearing for CIA nominee Gina Haspel, May 9, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The party division over her nomination played out before she spoke in the opening statements by the top Republican and Democratic senators in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In his opening remarks, committee chairman Richard Burr expressed support for her nomination calling her “the most qualified person the President could have chosen” to become CIA director.

“Some may seek to turn this into a trial about a long-shuttered program,” he said and noted the CIA’s rendition, program, and interrogation program has already been addressed in the past. He said anyone who has those questions should address them to former presidents and senior officials.

Ranking Democrat Mark Warner also praised her qualifications but questioned the message sent by having someone involved in the CIA’s controversial programs leading the agency.

Haspel explained to the committee that she was not involved in the crafting or leadership of the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

Warner pointedly asked Haspel how she would respond if President Trump “asked you to do something that you believe is morally questionable,” even if legal guidance “in effect gives you a get out of jail free card.”

“What will you do in that action when you are the director of the CIA?,” he asked.

“I support the higher moral standard that this country has decided to hold itself to, Haspel replied. “I would never, ever take CIA back to an interrogation program.”

Pressed further by Warner, Haspel responded that “my moral compass is strong. 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 also faced tough questions about her role in CIA’s destruction in 2005 of 92 video recordings of the interrogations of Abd al Rahim Al Nashiri, the plotter of the deadly attack on the USS Cole.

She explained that she had never seen the videos herself and that her role had been limited to drafting a memo to that effect ordered by Jose Rodriguez, the director at the time of the National Clandestine Service.

According to Haspel, there was no legal requirement to preserve the tapes since written transcripts of the interrogations.

“I do know that we keep very complete and almost verbatim records in our cable traffic,” said Haspel. “I think that the issue was the security risk posed to our officers.”

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine reminded Haspel that during his presidential campaign Trump had advocated for the return of waterboarding, one of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA.

“If the CIA has a high-value target in its custody and the president gave you a direct order to waterboard that suspect what would you do?” Collins asked Haspel.

“I do not believe the president would ask me to do that,” said Haspel.

She noted that the Defense Department and other U.S. government agencies are better prepared to conduct detainee interrogations.

“I’d advise anyone who asks me about it that CIA is not the right place to conduct interrogations,” she told Collins.

“I would not restart under any circumstances” the CIA’s previous interrogation program, Haspel said later.

“If the CIA has a high-value target in its custody and the President gave you a direct order to waterboard that suspect what would you do?,” asked Republican Senator Susan Collins.

“I do not believe the President would ask me to do that,” said Haspel who pointed out that the Defense Department and other U.S. government agencies are better prepared to conduct detainee interrogations.

“I’d advise anyone who asks me about it that CIA is not the right place to conduct interrogations,” she told Collins.

Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Dianne Feinstein have criticized the CIA for selectively declassifying documents ahead of Haspel’s confirmation hearing that put her CIA career in a favorable light.

“I regret to have to say there is no greater indictment of this nomination process than the fact that you are deciding what the country gets to know about you and what it doesn't,” said Wyden.

Haspel said she had discounted internal advice that releasing additional documents about her operational career could help her nomination.

“I said that we could not do that,” Haspel told Feinstein. “It is very important that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency adhere to the same classification guidelines that all employees must adhere to” because of the need to protect the security of covert operatives and operations.

“After 9/11 I didn’t look to sit on the Swiss desk,” she said. “I stepped up. I was not on the sidelines. I was on the front lines of the Cold War. I was on the front lines in the fight against al Qaeda. I am very proud of that fact.”

“I don't believe that torture works,” Haspel told Democratic Senator Kamala Harris when asked about President Trump’s past comments that torture works.

But she added, “I believe, as many people, directors who have sat in this chair before me, that valuable information was obtained from senior Al Qaeda operatives that allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack.”

Reed’s tough questions continued. He wanted to know what she would do if President Trump asked for a personal pledge of loyalty, as he did with former FBI Director James Comey?

“Senator, my only loyalty is to the American people and the constitution of the united States,” Haspel said . “I am honor-bound and will work very hard to deliver to this president and his administration the best performance and intelligence CIA can deliver.”

“I don't believe that such a circumstance would ever occur,” she responded. “CIA has been treated with enormous respect and our expertise is valued for what we bring to the table.”


Kaynak:Abcnews

YORUMLAR

  • 0 Yorum
Henüz Yorum Eklenmemiştir.İlk yorum yapan siz olun..