"The program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world", Gina Haspel, who's now acting chief of the spy agency, said in a letter to Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, ahead of a vote on her nomination.
"Gina Haspel has served our country with dedication for 33 years".
"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", Warner said. "The United States must be an example to the rest of the world, and I support that". Haspel depicted the period as a mistake, but that the agency was able to obtain "valuable" information during that time. But he has also praised her qualifications and said last week during the public portion of her confirmation hearing that she needed to make the kind of disavowal of torture she made Tuesday.
McCain, a war hero who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is one of just two Republicans who have announced they will vote against her. Rand Paul of Kentucky is likely to vote against her and GOP Sen.
Haspel's written responses also briefly addressed other important issues that did not come up at her hearing.More news: France urges Europe to act against US, Iran sanctions
Warner, whose home state of Virginia houses the CIA's headquarters, has an important constituency to consider, and has been complimentary of Haspel in the past.
Amid criticism of Gina Haspel for her role in the Central Intelligence Agency's enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding, one green beret chose to argue that waterboarding wasn't actually torture. Haspel was reportedly in favor of destroying the evidence.
She also said it "was a mistake not to brief the entire Committee at the beginning" of the program, acknowledging criticism that the Central Intelligence Agency didn't do enough to keep more than a handful of congressional overseers up to speed.
Green Beret sniper Tim Kennedy wholeheartedly supports Haspel's nomination, calling her an "amazing hero".
She also said she agreed with the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election and pledged to "fully cooperate" with the investigations into it, including by special counsel Robert Mueller.