Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton took Democratic lawmakers to task Wednesday for opposing Gina Haspel’s nomination to be the next CIA director.
Cotton pointed out that several Democratic lawmakers currently on the Senate intelligence committee voted to confirm former CIA director John Brennan to the same position in 2013. Democratic lawmakers have opposed Haspel’s nomination for playing a limited role in the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques of Al-Qaida detainee’s in the mid-2000’s.
Cotton: You said 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 if your opinion?
Haspel: Senator, I believe Mr. Brennan was the deputy of the agency at the time.
Cotton: You would consider that a senior manager position at the C.I.A.
Haspel: I believe it’s the number four position.
Cotton: For John Brennan, who was confirmed to be the C.I.A. Director by the following members of this committee, Senator Warner, Senator Feinstein, Collins, Manchin and Wyden and Rubio.
Lawmakers have specifically fixated on Haspel’s assistance in drafting a cable for her then boss ordering the destruction of interrogation tapes.