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Gina Haspel Acknowledges Torture Criticism: I Won’t ‘Restart a Detention and Interrogation Program’

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Aspiring CIA director Gina Haspel used her opening statement before the Senate Intelligence Committee to acknowledge the criticism over her previous work in “black site” prisons.

For the last several weeks, Haspel’s record has come under scrutiny because of her involvement in torturous “enhanced interrogation” techniques during George W. Bush‘s presidency. In the first remarks of her confirmation hearing, Haspel said that her work in Thailand was a “tumultuous time” for her, but she vowed that the CIA “will not restart a detention and interrogation program” under her leadership.

“CIA has learned some tough lessons from that experience. We were asked to tackle a mission that fell outside our expertise. For me, there is no better example of implementing lessons learned than what the agency took away from that program. In retrospect, it is clear, as the majority report concluded, that CIA was not prepared to conduct a detention and interrogation program. Today, the U.S. Government has a clear, legal and policy framework that governs detentions and interrogations. Specifically, the law provides that no individual in U.S. custody may be subjected to any interrogation, technique, or approach that is not authorized by and listed in the army field manual. I fully support the detainee treatment required by law and just as importantly, I will keep CIA focused on analysis missions that can best leverage the expertise we have at the agency.”

Haspel also said that she will respect congressional oversight of her leadership, saying “I will uphold the agency’s obligations to Congress, and ensure that oversight works on behalf of the American people.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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