The United States Senate on May 17 confirmed Gina Haspel as the first female Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director.

Haspel faced a lot of allegations from opposition Democratic Senators and human rights bodies. The allegations from oppositions were formed on the basis of or her alleged role in CIA’s interrogation program post 9/11.

She was confirmed by the Senate by 54-45 votes. Six Democratic senators were in support of her nomination. Senator Mark Warner, Ranking Member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, also supported her.

Senator Mark Warner was initially opposing her nomination. However, he voted yes. In a statement, he said, “I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral—like a return to torture,” said Warner, who had initially opposed her nomination but finally voted yes.

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Soon after the confirmation of the post, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to our new CIA Director, Gina Haspel!”

In its 70-year history, 61-year-old, Gina Haspel will be the first woman to lead the agency

Haspel had spent her career in the clandestine service. She succeeds Mike Pompeo, who is now serving as secretary of the state.

Haspel has tried to assure lawmakers that under her leadership, the CIA will not restart a detention and interrogation program which was experienced during post 9/11. She has pledged to lawmakers that she would not allow the CIA to return to using such brutal interrogation techniques. Also, she would not permit something unlawful action.

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Despite stiff opposition over her links to the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation methods, she has been approved to be the CIA director.

Haspel in 2002 served as CIA station chief in Thailand. The agency there conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning.

Christopher Anders, deputy director of ACLU’s legislative office, said, “For the first time in the history of the United States, the CIA will be led by someone with a past role in the use of torture.”

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Picture Credit: Reuters

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