Sen. Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.) released a statement on Saturday that announced his support for President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel. Haspel's prospects for confirmation remain in doubt, after Republican senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona issued statements opposing her nomination. DN! speaks to Laleh Khalili, professor at SOAS University of London and author of "Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies". Harris has since said she will vote against Haspel's confirmation.
Donnelly is up for re-election in a state Trump won handily in 2016.
It called for a tough, skilled intelligence agent and that's what Haspel has become during her lengthy and distinguished CIA service in both the Cold War and the Global War on Terror.
Asked if she would carry out a presidential order to use techniques including waterboarding, she said: "I would not restart under any circumstances an interrogation program at Central Intelligence Agency, under any circumstances". "I urge the Senate to send a clear message to the world by rejecting Acting Director Haspel's nomination - and showing that we will never compromise on the values that make our nation great".
What's prevented her from being a shoo-in for the top job is her role at the center of one of the federal government's most sickening and indefensible programs, a brutal interrogation regime that used torture against terrorism suspects after the September 11 attacks.
The GOP holds a 51-49 edge, and Vice President Mike Pence can break a possible tie.
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The announcement puts Donnelly at odds with Democrats, who oppose Haspel, and may improve her chances of being confirmed by the Senate.
'You also, in this hearing, have a responsibility to answer the questions being asked of you, ' Harris said to Haspel.
"Ms. Haspel, what the committee must hear is your own view" of the program, Sen.
Panel Democrats and some Republicans were primed to grill the career CIA operative about her clandestine background, particularly the role she played in the agency's controversial interrogation program that employed "enhanced" techniques such as water boarding, which many have likened to torture. Haspel told senators this week that she doesn't believe torture works as an interrogation technique. Haspel - a 33-year veteran of the agency - faces what will likely be a close confirmation vote in the full Senate.
Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited IN earlier this week IN what was billed as a tax reform rally, but practically speaking was an opportunity for Mr. Trump to blast "swamp person" Donnelly for his association with the Democratic Party and voting record.