Haspel WTAS: "Very Effective," "Composed," "Exceeded Expectations," "Strong"
- Gina Haspel has been praised for her performance at today's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on her nomination to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
- Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intelligence Richard Burr (R-NC): Haspel is "the most qualified person the president could have chosen to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in its 70-year history."
- Senator Marco Rubio praised Haspel for "embod[ying] everything that I respect and admire about the men and women of the CIA" and asked "if someone like you cannot be confirmed to head of this agency, then who can?"
- Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) praised Haspel for her performance at today's hearing, noting that she did a "good job."
- Vice President Mike Pence called Haspel's testimony "strong" and said the "Senate should vote to confirm her ASAP!"
- Jenna McLaughlin, national security reporter for CNN, said Haspel "did a good job holding her ground" during the hearing.
- Mary Kissel, editorial board member for The Wall Street Journal: Haspel was "serious, composed, disciplined, experienced."
- Pundits and observers have praised Haspel for her performance during the hearing, noting that she delivered a "strong" opening statement, "exceeded expectations," and was "fantastic."
DEPUTY DIRECTOR HASPEL'S PERFORMANCE AT HER CONFIRMATION HEARING TODAY IS BEING WIDELY PRAISED
At Today's Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing, Senators Praised Haspel And Her Record Of Service To The United States
On March 13, 2018, President Trump Announced He Would Nominate Gina Haspel To Be The Next Director Of The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "President Trump said on Tuesday that he will nominate Gina Haspel to be his new CIA Director, replacing Mike Pompeo who will replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State." (Alayna Treene, "Meet Gina Haspel, Who Could Be The First Female CIA Director," Axios , 03/13/18)
Vice President Mike Pence Called Haspel's Testimony "Strong" And Said She Has "Unparalleled Experience" And Is A "Dedicated Patriot." "STRONG testimony today by Gina Haspel. What the American people saw is unparalleled experience and a dedicated patriot. Senate should vote to confirm her ASAP!" (Mike Pence, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Chairman Of The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Richard Burr (R-NC) Called Deputy Director Gina Haspel "The Most Qualified Person The President Could Have Chosen To Lead The CIA And The Most Prepared Nominee In Its 70-Year History." SEN. RICHARD BURR (D-NC): "Gina, I've reviewed the material provided by you and have spoken to you personally many times. I believe your intellectual rigor, your honorable service and outstanding judgment make you a natural fit to lead the CIA. I can assure you that this committee will continue to faithfully allow it to follow its charter and conduct vigorous and real-time oversight over the CIA's operations and activities. We'll ask difficult and probing questions of you and your staff, and we will expect honest, complete and timely responses. The American people allow the CIA to operate in the shadows because they have a trust in oversight, and I take that responsibility seriously. Now, some may seek to turn this nomination into a trial about a long-shuttered program. I'd like to set the record straight and make clear to those in attendance and the American people that this hearing, this hearing is about -- this hearing is not about programs already addressed by executive order, legislation and the court of law. It's about the woman seated in front of us. Gina, I've reviewed your records closely. I've read your detailed and thoughtful answer to the committee's pre-hearing questions and I've spoken with you many times over the years. You are, without a doubt, the most qualified person the President could have chosen to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in its 70-year history." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 5/9/18)
- Senator Burr Stated That He Felt Haspel Has "Acted Morally, Ethically And Legally Over A Distinguished 30-Plus Year Career." "'You have acted morally, ethically and legally over a distinguished 30-plus year career.' - Burr, during opening remarks, on Gina Haspel." (Joshua Eaton, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Praised Haspel For "Embod[ying] Everything That I Respect And Admire About The Men And Women Of The Central Intelligence Agency." SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): "Thank you. Ms. Haspel when I joined this committee seven years ago I knew about as much about the CIA as the average American. Obviously I know a lot more these days and much of it can't be shared. There's two things that I can, first it's very easy to sit back and criticize the work of the agency with the benefit of hindsight and second is that the Agency is made up of some of the smartest most talented professionals that I have ever encountered in any field in my time of public service or beyond. These are men and women that could be making a lot of money in the private sector but instead they've chose to serve our country, many in the shadows, many at the risk of their own lives all to keep us safe. By the way they sacrificed this money, this time with family, this normal life in many cases in defense of the freedoms. Including the freedoms of the protesters who often smear them and in the act slander them. Ms. Haspel, you embody everything that I respect and admire about the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency and I support you not just because of your qualifications but because I want a young CIA trainee or case officer, I want today's operational officers, I want today's station chiefs, I want today's -- all of these professionals to know that they too can one day be sitting where you are sitting today and have the opportunity to lead this agency." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Gina Haspel Confirmation Hearing , 5/9/18)
- Senator Rubio: "If Someone Like You, With Your History, With Your Record Of Service And Sacrifice And Excellence, If Someone Like You Cannot Be Confirmed To Head Of This Agency, Then Who Can?" SEN. RUBIO: "And I would ask if someone like you, with your history, with your record of service and sacrifice and excellence, if someone like you cannot be confirmed to head of this agency, then who can? If someone like you is smeared in this process, what message are we sending to the young men and women who today are serving our country in the same roles in which you have served our country over the last 30 years, and I thought it was important for that to be part of the record today because as much as anything else, this hearing is not just about your nomination for me. It is also about the men and women who serve us, which I said at the outset you embody the best of the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency?" (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Gina Haspel Confirmation Hearing , 5/9/18)
Former Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Noted That Haspel Is "Supported By A Broad Spectrum Of National Security Professionals Who Have Served In Both Republican And Democratic Administrations" And Claimed He Could Not "The Last Time That So Many Former Intelligence Professionals Agreed On A Single Nominee." FMR. SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R-GA): "Gina's nomination is being supported by a broad spectrum of national security professionals who have served in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Intelligence community leaders like Henry Kissinger, Jim Clapper, Bob Kerrey, Mike McConnell, Mike Hayden, Leon Panetta, John Brennan and many others. In today's political climate, I cannot name the last time that so many former intelligence professionals agreed on a single nominee. Everything I've said to this point is part of the public record and I now want to close by putting a personal touch on this nomination. During my two years on the HIPC and 12 years on this committee, I traveled overseas extensively for the purpose of conducting oversight for the intelligence community. A lot of that travel was with Chairman Burr and with Senator Feinstein. With only a couple of obvious exceptions, we visited with the intelligence community personnel in every hot spot in the world. On several of those stops we visited with Gina Haspel. Never were we less than significantly impressed by the leadership that Gina was giving to the agency. Every member here knows the mission of the CIA but I'd just like to say that the general public, the written stated mission at the CIA which is to preempt threats and further U.S. national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the president and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our nation safe. No one is better prepared, more focused or more capable to carry out that mission than is Gina Haspel. Mr. Chairman, Gina is a proven leader who knows the agency and the threats we face. She is ideally suited to become the next and first female director of the CIA." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S Senate, Gina Haspel Confirmation Hearing 5/9/18)
Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) Stated That He Has Known Haspel For 10 Years And During That Time She Has Always Been "Open, Forthcoming, And Truthful." "I have known Ms. Haspel for the 10 years I have been on the Committee and have had the opportunity to work with her over the years and even visit her out in the field. I can report to you that during this time I have always found Ms. Haspel to be open, forthcoming, and truthful." (Sen. Jim Risch, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Senator Todd Young (R-IN) Called Haspel "An Incredibly Experienced And Qualified Nominee" And Stated That He "Look[ed] Forward To Supporting Her Nomination." "A well-led Central Intelligence Agency is critical to keeping Americans safe. Gina Haspel is an incredibly experienced and qualified nominee to serve as @CIA Director, and I look forward to supporting her nomination." (Sen. Todd Young, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Stated That He Had "Respect" For Haspel's Decision To "Step Up" And Be At The "Front Lines" After 9/11. HASPEL: "Senator, may I just say that I don't -- I haven't -- I don't know which 'Washington Post' story you are referring to, but let me say this about myself. After 9/11 I didn't look to go sit on the Swiss desk, I stepped up. I was not on the sidelines. I was on the front lines in the cold war and I was on the front lines in the fight against Al Qaeda." SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): "I respect that." HASPEL: "I'm very proud of the fact that we captured the perpetrator of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I think we did extraordinary work. to me the strategy is that the controversy surrounding the interrogation program which as I've already indicated to Senator Warner, I fully understand that, but it has cast a shadow over what has been a major contribution to protecting this country." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Gina Haspel Confirmation Hearing , 5/9/18)
After The Hearing, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Praised Haspel For Doing A "Great Job." "Leaving the hearing, Warner and Feinstein raise concerns about Haspel's answers. Manchin says she did a 'great job.'" (Manu Raju, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Haspel's Performance At Today's Hearing Was Also Praised By Pundits And Observers
Jenna McLaughlin, National Security Reporter For CNN, Claimed That During The Hearing Haspel "Did A Good Job Holding Her Ground." "Consensus seems to be that Haspel, despite being undercover for 30+ years, did a good job holding her ground and answering Senators' questions. Believe sticking points will be declassification and commitment to transparency, and potentially answers in response to morality of EITs." (Jenna McLaughlin, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
CNBC's John Harwood Called Haspel's Opening Statement "Very Effective." "Very effective opening statement from Haspel." (John Harwood, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Mary Kissel, Editorial Board Member For The Wall Street Journal, Stated That Haspel Was "Serious, Composed, Disciplined, Experienced" And Observed "If She Can't Get Confirmed, Who Can?" "CIA nominee Gina Haspel is handling herself admirably at her nomination hearing. Serious, composed, disciplined, experienced. If she can't get confirmed, who can?" (Mary Kissel, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Washington Free Beacon Editor Matthew Continetti Said Haspel "Exceeded Expectations And Embarrassed Feinstein, No Easy Feat" And Noted Her Confirmation Is "On Track." "Gina Haspel was fantastic in open session. She exceeded expectations and embarrassed Feinstein, no easy feat. Confirmation on track." (Matthew Continetti, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Former Deputy Assistant To The Secretary Of Defense Amber Smith, Praised Haspel's Opening Statement, Calling It "Excellent." "Excellent opening statement from Haspel." (Amber Smith, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
Author Stephen Mansfield Said "We Are Fortunate To Have [Haspel] As A Nominee." "Gina Haspel should absolutely be confirmed as Director of the CIA. Qualified, experienced, principled and a military brat. We are fortunate to have such woman as a nominee." (Stephan Mansfield, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
During The Hearing, Haspel's Addressed Senators' Concerns While Debunking Falsehood And Misconceptions About Her Nomination And The Her Actions At The CIA
During The Hearing, Haspel Corrected The Record And Chastised Sen. Feinstein For Repeating False And Previously Debunked Claims That She Ran A CIA Interrogation Program. SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): "In his memoir former CIA Counsel General John Rizzo described how in 2005 Jose Rodriguez was promoted to be Deputy CIA Director for Operations and installed as his chief of staff an officer from the Counter-Terrorist Center who had previously run the interrogation program. Is that you?" GINA HASPEL: "Senator, I'm so pleased you asked me that question." FEINSTEIN: "Yes or no will do." HASPEL: "No. and for the record, if you have your staff check, Mr. Rizzo has issued a correction. It is true that it is hard for-" FEINSTEIN: "Excuse me, my understanding." HASPEL: "that is not accurate." FEINSTEIN: "-- was you recently confirmed that it was you." HASPEL: "No. he issued a correction. When people write books -- I didn't read Mr. Rizzo's book so I didn't know that was out there. Mr. Rizzo, and actually, I read about it in "The Washington Post" last night, Eric Wemple I believe wrote a story talking about the failure of certain organizations to correct their facts and that was one of them, and he noted that Mr. Rizzo, about ten days ago, he was wrong, he didn't fact-check and that has been corrected. I never even served in that department nor was I the head of it." FEINSTEIN: "Let me read directly his quote from the book. Several weeks later Porter promoted Jose Rodriguez to the position of deputy director for operations. Jim Pavitt's former job. Once more Jose installed as his chief of staff an officer from the counter terrorist center who had previously run the interrogation program. Between them they were the staunchest advocates inside the building for destroying the tapes." HASPEL: "Senator, I did not run the interrogation department. In fact, I was not even read in to the interrogation program until it had been up and running for a year." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 5/9/18)
- Washington Free Beacon Editor Matthew Continetti: Haspel "Embarrassed" Sen. Feinstein, No Easy Feat." "Gina Haspel was fantastic in open session. She exceeded expectations and embarrassed Feinstein, no easy feat. Confirmation on track." (Matthew Continetti, Twitter Feed , 5/9/18)
During The Hearing, Haspel Rubuked Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) For Comparing Actions Of CIA Officers To Terrorists . SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): "Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If one of your operators were captured, subjected to waterboarding, enhanced interrogation techniques, which you I believe supervised, would you consider that to be moral, since perhaps the other entity did not have legal restrictions and good trade craft? As you appeared to do when you were involved previously." HASPEL: "Senator, I don't believe the terrorists follow any guidelines or civilized norms or the law. CIA follows the law." REED: "Excuse me, madam. You seem to be saying you were not following civilized norms and the law or anything else when you were conducting those activities. If that's the analogy you're going to draw." HASPEL: "Senator, I'm sorry. Can you -- I can't" REED: "It's very simple. You have an operations officer who's captured. He's being waterboarded. I've asked you very simply, would you determine that to be immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way shape or form? Your response seems to be that civilized nations don't do it, but uncivilized nations do it. Or uncivilized groups do it. A civilized nation was doing it until it was outlawed by this congress." HASPEL: "Senator, I would never obviously support inhumane treatment of any CIA officers. We've lost CIA officers over the years to terrorists. I just gave an example. Khalid Sheik Mohammed personally killed a Wall Street Journal correspondent and filmed that. I don't think there's any comparison between CIA officers serving their country adhering to U.S. law and Terrorists who by their very definition are not following anybody's law." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 5/9/18)
Haspel Claimed That If Nominated, She Would Grow The CIA's Counternarcotics Agenda To Tackle The Opioid Crisis And Drug Trafficking. SENATOR MARTIN HEINRICH (R-OK): "Let's talk about the very serious counternarcotics threat that's coming at us in some of the changing situations that's happening in our hemisphere dealing with drug trafficking organizations, international drug trafficking in particular. What do you sense is a role the CIA should have in the ongoing work to be able to do counternarcotics work in our hemisphere?" HASPEL: "Senator, thank you very much for that question and you've been a big supporter of CIA's counternarcotics work, but when I returned from my overseas posting in early 2017 I was frankly shocked at what I saw was happening in our country, particularly in places like my home state of Kentucky where there is a real crisis, but I think the number is 63,000 Americans we lost last year. We are losing 115 Americans a day. That seems to me to be an extraordinary crisis for our country. I would like to talk about this if we could some this afternoon, but as you know, CIA does have a fairly modest program to try and stop the flow of drugs from coming across our southern border. Heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. We work very closely in Central America and Latin America to try and stop that flow. I've been talking to our team at CIA headquarters about this for several months. I've asked them to come up with some options to grow that program. We have extraordinary support for that program on this committee, but I think in light of the fact that we are losing 115 Americans a day, that we are losing almost a generation in some places, that we have to do more. CIA is not the primary agency, but we can do a lot, but it has to be a whole of government effort." (Senate Intelligence Hearing, U.S. Senate, Gina Haspel Confirmation Hearing , 5/9/18)
Sen. Cotton Points Out Dems Confirmed CIA Dir. Brennan Who Also Had Ties To Interrogation Program. SEN TOM COTTON (R-AR): "Let's turn to the circumstances of what the counterterrorism center was doing the days you were there. I think Senator Collins asked an excellent sequence of questions that got at many of these points. I just want to tie a bow on some of them. These programs were to the best of your understanding approved by the Commander in Chief, legally approved by the Attorney General and supported by the director of the CIA who I point out at the time was the former Democratic staff director of this committee. Is that correct?" HASPEL: "That's correct, Senator." COTTON: "You said that you were not a senior manager when those programs were created, is that correct?" HASPEL: "That's correct." COTTON: "Was John Brennan a member of the Senior Intelligence Service and Deputy Executive Director at the time a senior manager in your opinion?" HASPEL: "Senator, I believe Mr. Brennan was the Deputy Director of the agency at that time." COTTON: "You would consider a senior manager position at the CIA?" HASPEL: "I believe it's the number four position." COTTON: "For John Brennan who was confirmed to be the CIA director by the following members of this committee, Senator Warner, Senator Feinstein, Senator Warner, Senator Collins, Senator King, Senator Burr, Senator Manchin, Senator Wyden and Senator Rubio." (Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 5/9/18)
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