Posted by Wordsmith on 2 February, 2017 at 11:58 pm. 2 comments already!


President Donald Trump has chosen veteran CIA officer Gina Haspel to serve as the agency’s deputy director, a decision that alarmed some lawmakers apparently worried about the new president’s stance on torture.

Haspel, who joined the agency in 1985, will be the first female career CIA officer to serve as deputy director. Her experience includes having overseen a “black site” prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects faced harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, according to multiple media reports.

It’s not clear if Haspel’s elevation is a sign that the CIA will return to using such methods. But Trump has repeatedly voiced support for waterboarding and other tough measures, even though many in the intelligence world are deeply uncomfortable with resuming such methods, and leading lawmakers, such as Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have warned the president to avoid them.

In announcing her new role, CIA Director Mike Pompeo called Haspel an “exemplary intelligence officer” with “an uncanny ability to get things done.” “We are fortunate that someone of her intellect, skill, and experience will be our deputy director,” Pompeo said in a written statement.

The No. 2 CIA job does not require Senate confirmation. But some senators expressed wariness about whether Haspel would adhere to unspecified laws, by which they likely meant statutes banning torture. [Much of the CIA’s post Sept. 11, 2001, work remains classified, limiting the lawmakers’ ability to directly state concerns about individual agency officials.]

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