Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA Director

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA Director

US Senate confirmed Gina Haspel as CIA director, making her the first woman to lead the spy agency.

The Senate vote of 54-45 in favor of Haspel came mostly along party lines. She needed support from several Democratic senators to win confirmation.

Haspel, 61, is widely respected in the intelligence community. Since joining the CIA in 1985, she has held some 20 jobs at the agency, including seven postings abroad.

Haspel was undercover for her first 32 years at the agency, a status lifted just last year when she became deputy director to Mike Pompeo, NPR reported.

Trump then picked Pompeo to be secretary of state in March and chose Haspel to replace him as the spy chief.

Haspel immediately came under intense scrutiny for two specific episodes in her long career.

One was in 2002, when she ran a black site prison in Thailand where officers carried out waterboarding and other harsh tactics to extract information from suspected al-Qaida militants. The other was in 2005, when she was based at CIA headquarters outside Washington and wrote a cable calling for videotapes of the waterboardings to be destroyed.

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