Washington (April 28, 2018): United States President Donald Trump’s choice for CIA chief is privately assuring senators that she will not reinstitute a detention and interrogation program and will make the pledge publicly at her May 9 confirmation hearing, two sources said on Friday.
Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel plans to give the commitment in her “opening statement and she has been telling members that as well,” a congressional aide told on the condition of anonymity.Word of the pledge comes as Haspel’s nomination encounters opposition over her role in a now-defunct program in which the agency detained and interrogated al Qaeda suspects in secret prisons overseas using techniques widely condemned as torture.An administration official confirmed that Haspel has been pledging in private interviews with senators that she will never allow the CIA to revive a detention and interrogation program.She is telling them that all US government agencies involved in interrogations should observe the standards set in a US Army field manual on interrogations, said the administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Daniel Hoffman, a former senior CIA official who knows Haspel well, said he believed she has learned valuable lessons from the aftermath of the harsh interrogation program.
“She has an extraordinary level of expertise in counterterrorism programs, including this chapter in our history,” Hoffman said. “She has absorbed the lessons learned.”Trump named Haspel, the first woman tapped to head the agency, to succeed Mike Pompeo, who became secretary of state on Thursday. She faces a Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on May 9.