Sometimes, you just want to give up. Or at least, shake the country by its exceptionalism and tell it to look in a mirror. From CNN:
Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, the culmination of a roller-coaster nominationthat appeared to be in danger at several points after she was abruptly selected by President Donald Trump in March. Three Republicans opposed Haspel's nomination: Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona, although McCain did not vote because he's battling brain cancer at home. But Haspel secured enough votes to win confirmation with the backing of six Democrats, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Most of the Democratic votes in favor of Haspel came from senators who are up for re-election in November in states that Trump won in 2016, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire also voted in favor of Haspel's confirmation.
There remain senators who are not convinced that Haspel has been honest about what happened on her watch, in Thailand and elsewhere.
"What I can say is her classified comments about her background have been as troubling as her public testimony," Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the Senate floor Thursday.
The excuses are about what you’d expect.
Democrats who backed Haspel pointed to her 33-year CIA career, 32 years of which was spent undercover, as well as her broad support from former intelligence officials, including many senior Obama administration officials. "Gina Haspel is among one of the most qualified people to be nominated to be director of the CIA," Warner said. "I feel safer knowing the CIA has Miss Haspel at the helm. ... I believe Gina Haspel should be confirmed. I look forward to supporting her."
And The Washington Post has nailed the bipartisan enthusiasm for someone who does not yet appear to have been honest about what she did when she was just following orders.
She appears to have been helped by some last-minute arm-twisting by former CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta, who contacted at least five of the six Democrats who endorsed her bid to join President Trump’s Cabinet, according to people with knowledge of the interactions.
Torture is now forgivable. Torture is now a career move. Torture is now a weapon in abeyance. Torture is now bipartisan, and everybody’s happy to put it behind us. Until the next time.
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