WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate confirmed Representative Mike Pompeo as President Donald Trump's CIA director on Monday, right after a delay linked with some lawmakers' worries he might expand surveillance or allow the application of certain interrogation techniques widely considered torture.
Sixty-six senators backed Pompeo and 32 voted against. The many opposition was from Democrats, excluding Senator Rand Paul, a significant Republican advocate for strict management of surveillance. Shortly afterward, Pompeo was sworn in by Second in command Mike Pence.
Some senators felt Pompeo, 53, we hadn’t pledged strongly enough allowing exactly the using interrogation techniques inside the Army Field Manual, as required lawfully, rather than revisit waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques," or EITs, employed by the CIA from the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, signed an executive order in 2009 banning waterboarding – some sort of simulated drowning – and various EITs, which are denounced by a lot of lawmakers and rights groups as torture.
In a reaction to written questions through the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pompeo said he was available to changing policy under certain situations. "I most certainly will seek advice from experts… on whether the Army Field Manual uniform application is really an impediment to gathering vital intelligence to defend the nation." Pompeo wrote.
Trump promised throughout his presidential campaign to bring back waterboarding and "a hell associated with a lot worse."
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden spoke for more than an hour inside Senate from Pompeo's nomination, saying he’d provided inconsistent answers on surveillance and interrogation tactics, rendering it impossible to recognise how he would implement policy along at the CIA.
Wyden cited an op-ed Pompeo co-authored this past year that considered necessary restarting most group of domestic telephone metadata and combining it with financial and lifestyle information into one searchable database.
He accused Pompeo of obtaining proposed "the most sweeping new surveillance program That i’ve ever read about."
Paul wrote within a op-ed: "I voted with the new CIA Director since i worry that his desire for security will trump his defense of liberty."
Most Republicans called Pompeo, part of your house Intelligence Committee, a great choice.
Senator John McCain, a frontrunner within the fight for legislation barring the application of the rough interrogation methods, said: "We have silly to doubt Congressman Pompeo’s word."
McCain added: "I fully support his confirmation. In the years ahead, I most certainly will carry on and closely monitor this condition, and rehearse my oversight powers to ensure the law is obeyed."