Trump's Central Intelligence Agency nominee offered to withdraw over interrogation role

  • Trump's Central Intelligence Agency nominee offered to withdraw over interrogation role

Trump's Central Intelligence Agency nominee offered to withdraw over interrogation role

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Several unidentified senior United States officials told The Washington Post that Haspel was anxious that the increasing scrutiny over her role in the agency's interrogation program would tarnish her reputation and that of the CIA, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

Haspel, who is deputy director of the CIA, offered to pull her nomination if it meant the confirmation hearing would prove to be damaging to her and the agency, the report said.

"Acting Director Haspel is a highly qualified nominee who has dedicated over three decades of service to her country", White House spokesman Raj Shah said in response to a request for White House comment.

"The takeaway for every United States Senator should be that they need a lot more information about Haspel than they're now getting", Faiz Shakir, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), pointed out; last week, he demanded Central Intelligence Agency records on Haspel, under the Freedom of Information Act. As of Saturday, Haspel has chose to stick with her nomination. "When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this Agency".

In 2005, Haspel ordered the destruction of videotapes documenting the interrogations of two men at the Thailand prison, amidst growing scrutiny of the detention and interrogation programme.

So Haspel wanted to step aside to avoid Wednesday's intense interrogation in the Senate, during which nobody will cover her face with cloth, turn her upside down and pour water until she thinks she's about to drown. Ahead of this, several top senators have asked tough questions on her role in several torture programmes. Members of Congress, particularly Democrats, have been resistant to Haspel's nomination without more information about her role in the program. After she was found to have destroyed video evidence of the waterboarding, no disciplinary action was taken against Haspel.

She has received robust backing from former intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security officials, who praise her extensive intelligence career.