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Gina Haspel to vow CIA won't restart enhanced interrogation program

Trump's CIA director faces tough vote

The subject that tops the list of questions senators will have for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel Wednesday concerns her involvement with the agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques," considered by many to be torture. According to excerpts of her prepared testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, she'll promise the CIA won't restart the program under her leadership.

"I understand that what many people around the country want to know about are my views on CIA's former detention and interrogation program," she's expected to say, according to excerpts released by the CIA Tuesday night. "I have views on this issue, and I want to be clear. Having served in that tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program."

Much of Haspel's 30-year career at CIA was spent in the clandestine service, and remains classified. Her reported oversight of a secret "black site" in Thailand where detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in 2002 has generated widespread controversy, as has her involvement in ordering the destruction of 92 videotapes – some of which documented the interrogations – while serving as chief of staff to then-director of the clandestine service, Jose Rodriguez, in 2005.

Haspel will also reassure lawmakers of her willingness to work with the Intelligence Committee, which has oversight over the CIA. "If we can't share aspects of our secret work with the public, we should do so with their elected representatives," Haspel is to say in her remarks.

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The acting CIA director will also talk a little about her years undercover in a career that played to her strengths, and one that she appears to have found fulfilling.

"I excelled in finding and acquiring secret information that I obtained in brush passes, dead drops, or in meetings in dusty back allies of third world capitals. I recall my first foreign agent meeting was on a dark, moonless night with an agent I'd never met before," she'll say during her confirmation hearing. "When I picked him up, he passed me the intelligence, and I passed him extra money for the men he led. It was the beginning of an adventure I had only dreamed of."

If confirmed, Haspel will be the first woman to serve as CIA director, a point she plans to acknowledge, but not dwell upon.

"It is not my way to trumpet the fact that I am a woman up for the top job, but I would be remiss in not remarking on it—not least because of the outpouring of support from young women at CIA who consider it a good sign for their own prospects."

CBS News' Olivia Victoria Gazis contributed to this report.

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