Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA director, first woman to lead agency

A world of threats awaits Gina Haspel as CIA director

Senate confirms Gina Haspel to lead CIA, first woman to hold post

But she has been successful, to a degree, influencing his stance toward Russian Federation, whose aggressive and adversarial posture toward the West has become a top national security priority for the administration. Think of that, in these very unsafe times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror.

Brad Todd, the Virginia-based consultant to Hawley's campaign, tweeted that McCaskill "won't stand up for her state against her party".

Haspel has served at the agency for more than 32 years, including an intense period following the 9/11 attacks.

A 33-year veteran of the CIA, Haspel will be the first woman to lead the agency and is now serving as its acting director.

She is now the first female director in the agency's history of over 70 years. At the time, counterterrorism was also a less coveted assignment, but an area where women were getting significant jobs and excelling at them.

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, also up for reelection, said that he believed Haspel "has learned from the past, and that the Central Intelligence Agency under her leadership can help our country confront serious worldwide threats and challenges".

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said the nomination was not just about Haspel but also about the US grappling with its past mistakes.

Let's be clear: if those Democrats who voted for Haspel had voted against her, she would not have been confirmed. Former top intelligence officials said she earned the chance to take the helm of the intelligence agency.

Three years later, she drafted a cable ordering the destruction of videotapes of those interrogations.

"I think she's a particularly disastrous choice, being one of the principal actors" in the torture program of the Bush administration, Alberto Mora, the former general counsel for the US Navy and a senior fellow at the Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, told Al Jazeera.

After the vote, human-rights groups quickly issued statements denouncing the confirmation and the now-defunct program. They said the US needed to slam closed what was one of the CIA's darkest chapters that tainted America's image with allies overseas. "Until it does, the USA aligns itself with countries that undermine respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law".

During her illustrious career in the CIA, Haspel has worked in various capacities and has been stationed clandestinely overseas including her stint in Africa, wherein in the 80s she assisted Mother Teresa in humanitarian assistance.

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That reticence prompted Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who opposed Haspel, is being treated for brain cancer and was absent.

He asked how the Senate could take seriously Haspel's "conversion on torture".

Here are the six Senate Democrats who voted to confirm Haspel: Mark Warner (Va.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).

"Zubayadah alone was waterboarded 83 times in a single month, had his head repeatedly slammed into walls and endured other harsh methods before interrogators decided he had no useful information to provide", The Times reported.

"While I won't condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world".

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