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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

CIA nominee Gina Haspel plans to put concerns over her re-starting the agency's torture program to rest as her confirmation hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee takes place Wednesday.

"I understand that what many people around the country want to know about are my views on CIA's former detention and interrogation program... I want to be clear... 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."
— Haspel, per excerpts from her opening statement from the CIA

Key excerpts from Haspel's opening statement:

  • On breaking CIA's glass ceiling: "I did my part—quietly and through hard work—to break down those barriers. And I was proud to be the first woman to serve as the number-two in the Clandestine Service. 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.”
  • On beginning her career with the agency: "From my first days in training, I had a knack for the nuts and bolts of my profession. ... I recall my first foreign agent meeting was on a dark, moonless night with an agent I’d never met before. 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.”
  • On working with Congress: "I am a strong believer in the importance of oversight. Simply put, experience has taught us that CIA cannot be effective without the people’s trust. ... If we can’t share aspects of our secret work with the public, we should do so with their elected representatives. For CIA, oversight is a vital link to the open society we defend.”

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 6 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.