Gina Haspel, U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director, has pledged she would never resume the spy agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques," often denounced as torture.
Haspel, who is currently acting CIA director, said during a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on May 9 that she would not implement any order she found morally objectionable, telling lawmakers, "My moral compass is strong."
However, Haspel avoided a direct answer when asked what she would do if Trump ordered her to waterboard a detainee. Waterboarding is a now-banned form of simulated drowning previously used by CIA interrogators on some terrorism suspects.
During the election campaign, Trump vowed to resume waterboarding and said techniques "a hell of a lot worse" would be introduced.
In 2002, Haspel was in charge of a covert detention center in Thailand where two suspects were subjected to waterboarding. Her critics also accuse her of destroying interrogation videotapes in 2005.
If confirmed, Haspel would succeed Mike Pompeo, a former Republican congressman confirmed last month as secretary of state.