US Senate confirms Haspel as CIA’s first woman director

Intelligence officer a controversial figure due to role in brutal interrogations after 9/11

Gina Haspel was confirmed as the new CIA director after the US Senate voted 54-45 in her favour. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Gina Haspel was confirmed as the new CIA director after the US Senate voted 54-45 in her favour. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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The US Senate has confirmed Gina Haspel as the CIA’s first woman director despite her role in one of the darkest chapters in the spy agency’s history.

It voted on Thursday by 54-45 after a tough nomination process.

Ms Haspel was a controversial choice because of her role in a former CIA programme to brutally detain and interrogate terror suspects at covert sites abroad following the 9/11 attacks.

Her opponents said it was wrong to promote someone who supervised a black site in Thailand.

They said the US needed to close the book forever on the programme that marred the country’s image with allies abroad.

Ms Haspel’s supporters cited her 33-year career at the agency.

Former top intelligence officials said she earned the chance to take the helm of the agency. – AP

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