Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) put her skills as a prosecutor on full display during Wednesday's hearing for President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the CIA.
Nominee Gina Haspel has faced intense scrutiny over her role in the Bush-era interrogation program that was found to include torture among its techniques. President Barack Obama famously acknowledged the U.S. role in torture publicly during Bush's presidency and committed to banning it.
Harris wanted to get down to the basic moral question of torture as Haspel kept resorting to legalese when asked about her past role.
“So one question I have not heard you answer is, ‘Do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral?'” Harris asked. “It’s a ‘yes or no’ answer.”
“Please answer yes or no,” Harris doubled down “Do you believe in hindsight that those techniques were immoral?”
“Senator, what I believe sitting here today is that I support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to,” Haspel answered.
Harris wasn't having it.
“Can you please answer the question?” the senator shot back.
“Senator, I think I’ve answered the question,” Haspel responded to no avail.
“No, you have not,” Harris said. “Do you believe the previous techniques, now armed with hindsight, do you believe they were immoral? Yes or no?”
Once again, Haspel refused to answer. Harris was done.
"You've not answered the question, but I'm going to move on."
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