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.
Haspel reportedly supervised a "black site" in Thailand during the interrogation of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi suspected of involvement in the 2000 bombing of the USA destroyer Cole. That's a vital concern since he's spoken of bringing back waterboarding, in which a detained person is doused with buckets of water to the point of near-drowning.
The Indiana senator issued a statement after meeting with Haspel, saying they had "a tough, frank, and extensive discussion" about her role in the top position at the CIA, as well as her views on controversial enhanced interrogations practices used by the spy agency against terrorist suspects under the Bush administration, according to The Washington Post.
The problem for Haspel is that senators inclined to extend such a dispensation to her for her role in those frightening times must contend with the fact that she would be serving a president who looks back at those days and apparently likes what he sees.
With two Democrats now backing her nomination-the first to do so was Sen.
Haspel: "Senator, I believe that Central Intelligence Agency did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use". I would absolutely not permit it. "I'm not asking, 'Do you believe they were legal?' I'm asking 'Do you believe they were immoral?" Should a group of terrorists kidnap your child and one of the terrorists was apprehended by the police, would you not want law enforcement to use every method possible to locate your child? Democrats have also complained that the agency has been selective in its declassification of information about her. Haspel did not answer directly. Harris has since said she will vote against Haspel's confirmation. She controls what of her record can be declassified, and most details released so far have been flattering. It is troubling, though, that someone deeply associated with actions so at odds with America's values and worldwide law should lead the agency.
Haspel no doubt fears she would be undercutting some of her colleagues by renouncing what she did.
Unless Haspel takes that step, she will not have demonstrated the most important quality for any official, a strong moral compass. Donnelly and Manchin are up for re-election in November, and Trump appeared at a political rally Thursday in IN, in which he singled out Donnelly and called on voters to support the Republican nominee, Mike Braun.