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Gina Haspel
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    (October 1, 1956- )
    Born in Ashland, Kentucky
    Birth name was Gina Walker
    Joined the CIA as an intelligence officer (1985)
    Station chief in Baku (1996-98), London (2009-11) and New York City (2011-13)
    Nominated to be Director of the CIA by Donald Trump
    Confirmed by the US Senate, 54-45 (May 17, 2018)
    She ran a secret CIA prison in Thailand where suspects underwent ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding (2002).
    When the ‘enhanced interrogation’ program came to public notice, she drafted a cable for her boss ordering the destruction of videos of prisoner interrogations (2005).
    At her confirmation hearing, she alternated between declaring her actions justified and assuring the Senators she would not make the same decisions again.
    Critics accused the CIA of selectively releasing positive information about her career and trying to hide damaging items by keeping them classified.
    A group of 109 retired admirals and generals signed a letter opposing her nomination.
    She had ‘some fluency’ in Spanish and French before joining the CIA and learned Russian and Turkish on the job.
    She organized an operation that led to the arrest of two terrorists linked to the 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
    She said tapes of the enhanced interrogations were destroyed to protect the identities of CIA officers whose faces were visible.
    Six former CIA directors supported her nomination.
    She told the Senate she would not restart the enhanced interrogation program, adding that as director, ‘I would not allow the CIA to undertake activity that is immoral, even if it is technically legal.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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