According to the excerpts from her testimony, Haspel plans to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday morning that she understands that many people would like to know her views on the interrogation techniques, which were instituted after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Her actual opinion, however, isn’t included in the excerpts, but in them, she promises, “clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program.”
It wasn’t clear Tuesday night whether Haspel would go into detail about her role in the controversial program during the public part of Wednesday’s hearing. She is also scheduled to testify before the committee in a closed session.
Concern about Haspel’s involvement in “enhanced” interrogation came close to spiking her nomination on Friday, when she broached the idea of withdrawing her nomination over concerns that reopening the debate over the program could damage the CIA.
Haspel decided to go ahead after she spoke with Trump by phone and after White House officials went to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to reassure her that she had their support, two U.S. officials said.
Trump reiterated his support for Haspel early Tuesday on Twitter, specifically hailing her as a leader who would be “tough on terror.”
Gina Haspel, my highly respected nominee to lead the CIA, is being praised for the fact that she has been, and alway will be, TOUGH ON TERROR! This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone. The CIA wants her to lead them into America’s bright and glorious future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
If she is confirmed, Haspel would be the first woman to lead the CIA on a permanent basis. In the excerpts from her prepared remarks, she plans to say that she is proud of the work she has done over the years “to break down those barriers.”
“It is not my way to trumpet the fact that I am a woman up for the top job, but I would be remiss in not remarking on it — not least because of the outpouring of support from young women at CIA who consider it a good sign for their own prospects,” she plans to say.