Who is Gina Haspel? Trump’s pick for CIA chief linked to torture site

Gina Haspel was nominated by Donald Trump to lead the CIA.

Donald Trump’s pick for head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, reportedly oversaw a black site prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were tortured. She briefly ran the prison in 2002, anonymous officials told the Associated Press.

If the US Senate confirms Haspel, she would be the first female director of the agency, but the historic significance of her nomination was immediately overshadowed by her reported link to the black site, where two suspected al-Qaida members were waterboarded.

“Ms Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process,” said John McCain, the Arizona senator who was tortured during the Vietnam war. He called the torture of US detainees during the Bush era “one of the darkest chapters in American history”.

“The fact that she’s been able to stay in the agency, rise in the agency and now is in line to be director should be deeply troubling,” Larry Siems, author of the Torture Report, a book analysing government documents relating to Bush-era torture…

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