J. Scott Apple White / AP
Updated at 13:34 ET
"I would not allow the CIA any activities that I consider immoral – even if it were technically legal," said Gina Haspel, the CIA career officer who is now in charge of leadership the agency is nominated. It was one of many responses she made on Wednesday to show what her values and priorities were as leaders of the American intelligence service.
Haspel was interviewed by both her critics and her backers and briefed a Senate Intelligence Committee
Several senators urged Reel to detail their role in destroying cassettes of an inmate's CIA interrogations – and whether they was for this step. The lawyer is an advocate for "destroying the tapes for safety concerns," said Haspel, when it was discovered that the act
The nominee also said that she had played no role in the creation of the film's CIA detention and interrogation program, and only about a year after it had begun to know of its existence
When asked after President Trump's earlier presentation that torture is "absolutely working," she pel said, "I do not think torture works."
She added that valuable information from the debriefing session was senior al-Qaida activists were won – and that it was impossible to determine if "interrogation methods played a role.
This answer came during the interrogation of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. – who also urged Reel to say if she now views the CIA interrogation program as immoral.
Haspel, the first CIA director-nominated woman, plans to succeed Mike Pompeo, who led the State Department. But she is also being subjected to a thorough investigation into her role in the interrogation program – and whether she would follow orders that might force the CIA to go beyond the limits of torture and other methods.
Several Senators also voiced their concerns as current acting director of the CIA. Haspel was potentially involved in making decisions about which parts of their records should be made available to the public.
You can follow the hearing on the committee page here; it should start at 9.30 am ET.
The hearing began almost 10 minutes later, partly because of the intense media spotlight. As she sat, cameras flickered around Reel for several moments.
"You are without doubt the most qualified person" that President Trump could nominate for the CIA job, said committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr, RN.C. Opening remarks
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., The committee's deputy chairman, agreed that Reel is "among the most experienced people to be nominated" to lead the CIA – but, he added, "many people – and I close myself that number of questions about the message the Senate would send by confirming someone for that position who served as a superior in the Antiterrorism Center during the time of the [CIA’s] rendition, detention, and interrogation program. "
Burr used his first Asking to question Reel about the destruction of tape recordings by the CIA, which showed that the agency's staff was interrogating detainees in sessions that included waterboarding and other methods that were considered torture.
Haspel said there were "security issues" because of the CIA staff on the footage. She added that despite some reports to the contrary, she did not appear on the tapes. And she said the agency does not believe it is legally required to preserve the video recordings.
"The consistent legal advice – it never changed – was that there was no legal obligation to store the tapes," said Reel. She added that the agency considered her written description of the videos as the official record of their content, and that these writings had been examined and found to be correct and complete.
Where Burr left off, Warner then asked Reel about the tapes, and whether the threat of several investigations played a role in their destruction. Haspel responded that the agency was focusing on possible security risks.
Warner went on to ask Reel if she believes the CIA interrogation program "agreed with American values in the early 2000s"
Reel began its response America has been plagued by terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001 The country's decision to adhere to a "stricter moral standard" has been changed and added to support this standard.
Warner followed the question of how Reel would respond to a request from President Trump and the White House that might contradict their moral values.
"I would never put CIA back in an interrogation program," said Haspel. She added that she "would not risk the CIA officers by asking them again for risky, controversial activities.
Warner asked, "If this President asks you for something that you find morally offensive, even if there is a [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, what will you do, will you execute that order or not?"
"Senator, my moral compass is strong, "said reel. "I would not allow the CIA to carry out activities that I considered immoral – even if it were technically legal, I would not allow that at all." Haspel said again, "No. I believe the CIA must do things that are in line with American values."
After declaring that she would not let the agency do anything that she considered immoral, she was urged by Sen. Harris to say if she considered the CIA's interrogation program to be immoral
Harris wanted one Yes-or-no answer – a common, albeit often unfulfilled, request in congressional hearings. Reel refused to give one and said the CIA staff had "used the legal means we were allowed to use."
In a back-and-forth exchange, Harris asked, "Do you believe in retrospect? Techniques were immoral?"
"Senator, what I believe sitting here today, I support the higher moral standard for which we decided us, "said Haspel.
In another part of the hearing, Reel said to Sen Susan Collins, R-Me. When she learned that the CIA interrogation program had been drafted by interrogators, "the highest legal authority in the United States had approved it and that the President of the United States had approved it as well as the leaders of the CIA.
Asked by Collins if her views on the program had "evolved" over time, Reel said, "Senator, they have. "
Haspel reiterated that the US had a higher standard for interrogation, Haspel added, "The most important thing about the CIA is that we obey the law, we followed the law and now follow the law." 19659009] Collins noted that President Trump pleaded for waterboarding and even more extreme measures.
"If the CIA has a high-profile suspect in terrorism," Collins said, "and The President has given you a direct order to Waterboard, what would you do?"
"I do not think the President is me ask for it, "answered Haspel. "But," she added before pausing for a moment, "We have other US government units in the US government that conduct interrogations today, DOD uses the Army Field Manual and they conduct battlefield interrogations" – and the CIA has expertise who can support these surveys. The FBI could help too, she said.
"CIA is not the place to conduct interrogations," said Haspel, adding, "We have no interrogators, and we have no interrogation expertise."
Commenting on her nomination as reflecting her respect for her opinion, Haspel said, "My experiences in these days after 9/11 have shaped my views, I am very knowledgeable and knowledgeable about the CIA workers Women in the trenches paid for decisions taken after 9/11. "
When Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., began questioning Reel, she remarked," I think, as you know, I like it Personally, she very much "She's probably the most difficult hearing" she ever sat on.
Then she asked Haspel if she was the CIA official whom the agency's former Advocate General, John Rizzo, described as "decided Lawyer "designated" to destroy interrogation videos that had also directed the interrogation program of the agency.
"Senator, I'm so pleased you asked me that question," said Reel, before answering, "No."
She said Rizzo had made a correction to make it clear that Reel had not carried out the interrogation program – and Feinstein then asked if Reel had advocated destroying the tapes
"I was absolutely an advocate" for the tapes destroy, said Haspel, "if we came [do that] in accordance with US law and if we could eliminate political approval the security risk to our officials through these tapes."
She added that the tapes 92 interrogations one Inmates documented. The recordings were destroyed in 2005 on behalf of the former intelligence chief of the CIA, José Rodriguez, for the reel as Chief of Staff acted.
Haspel admitted to having ordered the telegram from Rodriguez to destroy the band. She also said how Rodriguez did that he acted on his own without consulting his superiors. She also said that she knew Washington had "some objections" to destroy the tapes.
The timing of the destruction of the tapes occurred several times. At this point, Sen. Angus King, D-Me., Asked
"It was a coincidence that this decision was made to destroy the tapes in the same week in which two big stories appeared in American newspapers, the Levin www German: www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…80&Itemid=58 An amendment was under consideration and the McCain addendum was on the floor of the US Senate – it was just a coincidence that … after three years. English: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…ew&id=6 # 1991 Late the decision was made to destroy the tapes? "
" Senator, I do not think we knew in the Front Office of the Directorate of Legislation, "said reel. I do not think we were aware of that.
She added, "I can not remember being aware of this week's intense public interest.
A protester interrupted Senator Roy Blunt's questioning, R-Mo. As a woman in the crowd watched the hearing, she exclaimed, "The question is, what do you do with people in US custody?"  As Capitol police officer escorted the woman out of the chamber, she exclaimed, "Bloody Gina! You're a torturer! "
Following this incident, Blunt returned to Reel about the dynamics of her work with the Trump government.
In his opening remarks at the beginning of In the Hearing, Warner did not say he was nominated for Haspel But, while Reel has said that the US Interrogation Law has changed, he said, "I appreciate that, but it's not enough."
At the hearing, Reel was named by two Former senators officially introduced – and praised sat on the intelligence plate: Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind.
Large portions of the candidate's record remain classified In the standard questionnaire for presidential candidates, a section has been completely edited: a request to reel to list certain sources and amounts of all revenue over the last five years.
Here are the basic facts about reel:
alt he: 61
College: University of Louisville
Career: 33 years at CIA, including 32 Undercover; 7 Foreign Assignments
Current position: CIA Acting Director (former Deputy Director)
Foreign languages: Russian, Turkish
The hardest questions for Reel – at open hearings or in closed assemblies doors and doors – revolve around torture.
Greg Myre of NPR reports: "She was in a black jail in Thailand in 2002 where Al Qaeda suspects were trapped in the water, in 2005 she wrote a telegram calling for the destruction of videotapes showed this waterboarding."
Reel says she would not bring back that kind of program. In her prepared remarks for Wednesday's hearing, the CIA career officer, who has rarely spoken publicly, said she understands the interest in this part of her career.
"I have opinions on this subject, and I want to be clear," she said. "After serving in this tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clear and unconditional, that the CIA under my leadership will not resume such a detention and interrogation program."
One of their biggest critics in the committee is Sen Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Who said the CIA glossed over Haspel's career to have her confirmed.
"There's a wall to cover up that was made by the agency regarding their background," Wyden said on Wednesday's Morning Edition.
The White House says reel is the best candidate for the job. She also points to her record and cites her receipt of the Merit's Intelligence Medal, a Presidential Rank Award, and the Donovan Award, as well as the George H.W. Bush Award for Antiterrorism, "for conducting an operation that resulted in the valuable collection of intelligence and the arrest and detention of two terrorists"
Marc Short, the President's Legislative Director, told NPR on Tuesday, "If she does not qualify This is a sad state where the US Congress is deciding who is eligible for the CIA. "
From Haspel's involvement in waterboarding, Short said," She led the Work that she carried out in accordance with the law of the United States, approved by the Attorney General of the United States, following the orders given to them. "
What her priorities would be as the head of the CIA, Reel In her prepared remarks she said: "Our strategy begins with strengthening our core business: gathering information, making political decisions to help protect our country and drive American interests around the world. "
To do this, Haspel said he would field more officers and emphasize foreign language proficiency.
"And finally, it involves investing in our partnerships – both within the US government and around the world," she said.