President Trump Picks Gina Haspel as First Female CIA Director

Lester Mason
March 15, 2018

The nomination of Gina Haspel, who was deeply implicated in the use of torture in the post-9/11 period, to the position of C.I.A. director is very troubling.

She served in a number of undercover overseas posts in addition to her work in Thailand, including as chief of the CIA station in London and the agency's base in NY.

Senate confirmation isn't expected to go as smoothly for President Donald Trump's new selections for secretary of state and Central Intelligence Agency director as they did past year. Sen.

Paul said he would not support "the head cheerleader for waterboarding".

Facilities such as Detention Site Green are called "black sites" because their existence is not recognised by the United States government. But the 61-year-old's appointment as deputy director of the secret service in February 2017 had proved a point of contention.

Haspel ran a black site prison in Thailand in 2002, where terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah was held after his capture in Pakistan. Waterboarding simulates drowning and is considered a form of torture by a wide range of authorities. That order prompted a lengthy Justice Department investigation that ended without charges. "Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA's interrogation program during the confirmation process". He would face steep legal and legislative hurdles if he tried.

Another Republican senator, John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, also had questions about Haspel, but did not say he would oppose her. McCain has not been in Washington to vote this year as he undergoes cancer treatment at home in Arizona. "So my opposition to her is over her direct participation in interrogation and her gleeful enjoyment at the suffering of someone being tortured".

Brennan predicted she would be confirmed.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, which will vote whether to confirm Haspel, said she has the "right skill set, experience and judgment" to lead the CIA. But the rights group's allegations against Haspel remain part of a preliminary investigation that German authorities could revive if they receive evidence that any of the parties have links to Germany.

In a press release summarizing Pompeo's "distinguished career as CIA director", the White House credited him with leading the spy agency to confront threats to the nation's safety and security, including those posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. However, a federal judge told the lawyers that the documents related to the program and the officials are protected.

In Washington, she has held several senior leadership positions, including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and deputy director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action.

Paul could make the process hard, particularly for Pompeo.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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