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haspel confirmation

Trump's nominee to head the CIA releases statement characterizing enhanced interrogation programs as a mistake

President Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, has issued a statement claiming that she believes the CIA's use of controversial interrogation techniques like waterboarding after 9/11 "ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world," NBC News reports. While Haspel refused in her statement to "condemn those that made these hard calls," she explained that "with the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken."

The CIA's use of such programs was central during Haspel's confirmation hearing before senators earlier this month, although Haspel at the time had refused repeatedly to state that she believed the techniques used on detainees were immoral. Haspel herself worked at a "black site" in 2002 where suspects were waterboarded, and has been criticized for a 2005 cable in which she states that videos showing waterboarding should be destroyed.

Haspel's statement all but assures "that she will be confirmed," NBC News predicts. Haspel's dodging of questions about the morality of torture had irked on-the-fence Democrats during their questioning of the nominee, and Haspel will likely need a few Democrats to support her nomination to clear the Senate. The Senate Intelligence Committee will vote on Haspel's nomination Wednesday, setting the stage for a full vote in the upper chamber next week.