Home Mark Warner BREAKING: Sen. Mark Warner to Support Gina Haspel for CIA Director. Grrrrrrrr.

BREAKING: Sen. Mark Warner to Support Gina Haspel for CIA Director. Grrrrrrrr.

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This falls into the “you must be f’ing kidding” category. Uh, Senator Warner? You do realize that Virginia is now a blue-leaning state, certainly not North Dakota or West Virginia or Indiana or whatever? Also, you do realize that torture is a crime under U.S. and international law, in addition to being heinous, immoral, etc? So, again, you must be f’ing kidding…right? No? Seriously??? Ugh.

P.S. I really am starting to think it’s time for a primary to this guy, assuming he decides to run for reelection.

UPDATE: DNC member, Arlingtonian and Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Victims of Torture Yasmine Taeb just posted, “Senator Mark Warner just announced his support for Gina Haspel as CIA director. I have never been as disappointed with my senator as I am right now. #TortureIsDisqualifying #BlockHaspel

STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER

~ On the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA Director ~

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced today that he will support the nomination of Gina Haspel to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

“Gina Haspel has served our country with dedication for 33 years. In many ways, her story is representative of the thousands of people at the Agency and throughout the intelligence community who serve quietly, without recognition, and often at great personal risk, in order to keep our nation safe from those who wish to do us harm. 

“Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ms. Haspel in her role as Deputy Director, and I have always found her to be professional and forthright with the Intelligence Committee. Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral – like a return to torture.

“I acknowledge that this has been a difficult decision. There are valid questions that have been raised regarding the Acting Director’s record, and I have been frank with Ms. Haspel that I wish she had been more open with the American public during this process. However, in both our one-on-one meetings and in classified session before the Committee, I found Acting Director Haspel to be more forthcoming regarding her views on the interrogation program, which is why I asked her to memorialize those comments in writing. I also take to heart the strong support Ms. Haspel has among rank-and-file members of the intelligence community and from intelligence community leaders who served under President Obama.

“I’m going to support Gina Haspel’s nomination to be Director of the CIA. I also respect my colleagues who have made a different decision. 

“If she is confirmed, the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to conduct thorough and vigorous oversight over the nation’s intelligence agencies.”

  • notjohnsmosby

    Haspel has a lot of support within the Intel community. Apparently, some of Trump’s other potential picks do not. This is a case of picking the least-worst option. It sucks, but in the Age of Trump, least-worst is your best bet sometimes.

    Plus, with a few Dem defectors already on the record, she is going to get approved regardless of how Mark or any other Dem votes. The battle on that front was lost when some of the Dems up for reelection this year decided to support her.

    • Yasmine Taeb

      “Haspel has a lot of support within the Intel community.” — of course she does. She’s been at the agency for more than 30 years and folks in the intel community always stick together. What’s your point?

      “Picking the least-worst option” — That’s false. The alternative to Haspel being floated was Sue Gordon who has bipartisan support and was NOT a torturer. I’d appreciate if folks stop making these nonsensical arguments for why we should support an unqualified nominee.

      Regarding your last point, that’s also inaccurate. We had a path to victory. There are several Republican Senators I’ve been in touch with that have been leaning towards opposing her.

      • It’s amazing how wrong one person (“notjohnsmosby”) can be on so many things, from energy/environment to torture to…

        • notjohnsmosby

          Lowell, if you want to be like Jeanine Martin and block anyone and everyone who disagrees with you, be my guest. It’s your blog.

          • Excuse me? Have I blocked you, despite disagreeing (strongly) with most of what you post here the past few years? Nope.

          • dave schutz

            That you don’t (as near as I can tell) demand uniformity of views makes your blog a more interesting and useful one.

      • notjohnsmosby

        My point is it would be refreshing change for the rank and file of an agency actually wanting to work for who Trump wants to put in charge.

        The path to victory was dead when the first Dem agreed to support her. If you were counting on Republicans to vote against Trump, you must have forgotten the numerous other times in the last 16 months where Republicans have grandstanded a little but eventually voted for whatever McConnell put in front of them. There was some backbone last year on the ACA repeal, but nothing much recently on major nominations. Jackson was so bad and it was so early in the process that torpedoing him was very easy.

        • Yasmine Taeb

          Wrong. We still had a path to victory even with losing 3 Dems (Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp). Please just stop. Either join the Resistance or kindly get out of the way and stop with your defeatist mentality. We lost this fight once Warner announced his support and he knows that. I’ve been working on this nomination since the day it was announced and am quite familiar with our whip count — more so than someone just watching from the sidelines and refusing to hold Dems accountable and working to win these fights.

          And here’s Sen. Flake announcing his opposition to Haspel. He’s on the right side of history unlike our senior senator: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/jeff-flake-gina-haspel-no-vote-cia-director/index.html

          • notjohnsmosby

            I don’t believe I work for you, so I’ll decline to do what you tell me to do.

            But, for the sake of argument, who are the other three Republicans who planned to oppose? And out of those four plus Flake, what was the likelihood of each one to actually vote against her? There have been “solid” Republican defections on multiple votes who decide to not defect. A regular occurrence, actually.

          • Well said, go Yasmine!

  • Harry

    I don’t get this one, she tortured people, unfortunately, Warner never served in the military and has no concept of torture (Warner, have a conversation with Sen. McCain, he will enlighten you) or the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There are way too many cowards in the Congress and the big coward at the top with bone spurs. When he takes a run for President in 2020 he can tell all the trumpsters how he voted for torture. Sen. Warner, they don’t care they will never vote for anyone other than Trump no matter how many times you vote with Trump.

  • As usual, the brilliant Oliver Willis nails it.

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/williswarner.jpg

  • sonofkenny

    Sorry…whatever strategic thinking went into his decision, whether it was the least bad option, or whether other Dem defections made his decision irrelevant, there is a time when you stand up for a principle. Being anti-torture is one of them. It is Democrats like Warner, who still labor under the notion that Trump is anything but a cancer, eating away at basic assumptions of what it is to be an American, that are going to get Trump reelected!

    • I mean, if you can’t be against TORTURE, for god’s sake, then you have no business being an elected official in the United States of America 2018.

      • sonofkenny

        Seems like no-brainer…I know Trump and his minions don’t give a shit about who gets killed or maimed, who dies from lack of health care or who gets tortured. Sad to see a so-called Democrat take that position too…he really needs to be primaried.

  • Henry Howell

    I’ve glad that Lowell is here to articulate a response to Senator Warner who’d rather make friends in the intelligence community than take a recognizable stance against torture. It’s okay to torture as long as you don’t need Senate confirmation for ten years is the lesson Senator Warner is teaching the world.

    • Warner is basically the moral, ideological, etc. antithesis of your dad…

      • Henry Howell

        He made his money on connections he made from his work on Scoop Jackson’s staff working on telecommunications. He learned and adopted the policy that puts who you know and who owes you at the top of the criteria for deciding the political decisions to make. He’s transactional like a lot of people in power. What are his core values based on his words and actions, I ask.
        I stand with Lowell.

  • frankoanderson

    I can’t believe we are at the point in America where we even need to ask questions like “Is torture okay?” and “Are Nazis okay?” and “Are Democrats running a pedophile ring out of a DC pizza parlor?”

    • Roger Miller

      Whether torture is okay was settled by a President who we all revere. Given the opportunity to pursue investigations into Gina or anyone else at the CIA, he demurred. No indictments. No convictions. No sentences. No crimes.

  • Roger Miller

    Anytime Mark takes a cringeworthy position, I always look around to see if he has suckered Tim into joining him.

  • ironbird

    And you believe she’s going to write down that stuff she told you in the classified portion of the hearing, Senator? That’s as thoroughly stupid as Haspel believing Trump would never order her to torture.

  • Not Sorry Sally

    How much more is it going to take to prove that everyone with a (D) next to the name isn’t automatically ‘good enough.’ Everyone is so afraid to call out the problems in our own Party — even if fixing them makes us a stronger Party.

    Why do we expect things to ever be different when we continue to recycle the same establishment folks…

    Just this morning I see we’ve reluctantly become ok with Dems taking money from Dominion?

    Between this and Mcauliffe’s deals how much more do you really need…

  • Gina

    a friend pointed out that having someone competent run the CIA makes sense.
    If Gina is turned down, then trmupster might appoint his hairdresser.

    Come to think, his hairdresser is probably one of the most competent and creative people in trmpster’s circle.

  • HaroldCh8

    I’m glad Virginia has at least one Senator intelligent enough to understand one can’t play nice or take the high ground with terrorists who wave human heads around on camera.

    “But torture!”, oh please grow up. This is what serious adult leadership looks like.

    • You’re advocating war crimes? Seriously?

      • HaroldCh8

        They’re not really applicable to irregular enemy combatants like terrorists. If the terrorists want Geneva protections they must abide by Geneva rules, such as not mingling with civilian populaces or hiding in hospitals and schools.

      • notjohnsmosby

        Although I don’t agree with the sentiment, Harold is highlighting what a solid majority of Americans think. They don’t like the concept of torture, but at the same time, they don’t like muslims and/or Arab/Iranian/Afghani/whatever else non-Israeli Middle East population the US has had run-ins with.

        Most have a “whatever it takes” mentality when it comes to the Middle East.

  • Cglass

    Warner just lost my vote should he decide to ever run again. Bad enough that he previously voted for Pompeo–a torture apologist–as director of CIA. Now he has voted for an actual practitioner of torture and a war criminal. His vote, along with four other Democrats (Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly, and Nelson), shows how pathetically invested the party is in our imperialist foreign policy and permanent war. One possible positive note in Haspel’s confirmation is that the CIA will now be clearly tainted forever as a torture agency directed by a war criminal.

    • notjohnsmosby

      So you’ll be happier with a Republican like EW Jackson or Mark Obenshain from Virginia and Mitch McConnell as majority leader?

  • Mark Warner is a traitor and needs to be removed from his seat!