Gina Haspel could become CIA director with full Senate approval

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Wednesday to advance President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director.

Gina Haspel, a career intelligence official whose background with the agency’s nefarious torture programs, could become the CIA’s first female director if the full Senate approves her nomination.

Haspel’s controversial nomination has sparked renewed debate over brutal interrogation practices used on terror suspects after 9/11.

The 61-year-old was involved in supervising a secret CIA detention site in Thailand and was connected to the destruction of videotapes documenting interrogation sessions with detainees.

RELATED: A look at Gina Haspel

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Nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel arrives for meetings with Senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel is sworn in prior to testifying at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee Gina Haspel (R) attends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, U.S. May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. CIA/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel arrives for meetings with Senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director nominee Gina Haspel (C) attends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington, U.S. May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Gina Haspel, nominee to become CIA director, arrives for her meeting with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday, May 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel testifies at her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the CIA, arrives in Hart Building for meetings with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and other senators on May 7, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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During her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel said she doesn’t believe torture works and that her “strong moral compass” would prevent her from carrying out any presidential order she found objectionable.

Haspel also said she would not permit the spy agency to resume its torture program.

Critics, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have questioned whether appointing Haspel would further damage the CIA’s image worldwide.

Daphne Eviatar with Amnesty International on Tuesday called Haspel’s nomination an “affront to human rights.”

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