Gina Haspel, set to be first female CIA director, a prominent figure in torturing terrorists

United Nation: Gina Haspel broke another glass ceiling in her illustrious career in the CIA running over more than three decades when US President Donald Trump announced that she would become the first woman to lead the agency.
In a surprise move, Trump yesterday announced that he was removing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and elevating Haspel, who was his deputy.
The Senate must vote on 61-year-old Haspel’s confirmation to succeed Pompeo. If confirmed by the Senate, Haspel would be the first women to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.
However, influential lawmakers yesterday indicated that they are unlikely to give her a pass. In fact, they are gearing up to grill her over her role in torture programme.
“Gina, by the way, who I know very well, who I’ve worked with very closely, will be the first woman director of the CIA. She’s an outstanding person who also I have gotten to know very well,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, said Trump has made a strong choice in his nomination of Haspel to serve as the next Director of CIA.
Haspel is a career intelligence officer who joined the CIA in 1985. She has extensive overseas experience and has served as Chief of Station in several locations, he said. She is the winner of George H W Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism and also the Intelligence Medal of Merit.
On a flip side, Haspel once reportedly ran a secret prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were allegedly subjected to harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding.
According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’, she was part of a team that oversaw the CIA’s detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists, using techniques that many experts and lawmakers since have described as torture.
Top senators were yesterday quick in pointing at her role in the torture programme.
Republican Senator John McCain, Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee said the torture of detainees in US custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history.
“During the confirmation process, Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation programme. I know the Senate will do its job in examining Ms. Haspel’s record as well as her beliefs about torture and her approach to current law,” McCain said.