President Trump's pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel — the first woman to head the CIA — is sure to rankle Senate Democrats.
That's because Haspel, 61, has a known history with "enhanced interrogation techniques" or "extraordinary rendition programs" — which opponents claim is torture — while she was an officer in the CIA 15 years ago.
Much of this was widely reported during her confirmation hearings to be deputy director in 2017. "But there’s a difference between being No. 2 and actually being DCI [director of central intelligence]," a former Trump administration official who requested anonymity told Newsmax. "There is no way Democrats in the Senate will let Gina be confirmed without a fight — and a rehashing of all she did or may have done as an agent."
Stephen Kinzer, author of "All the Shah’s Men," about the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran, agreed. "[The Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad is traditionally led by people who have personally tortured and killed, but I'm guessing this is the first time we have a DCI who has been so directly involved in torture," Kinzer told me.
When Haspel was named deputy director of the CIA last year, The New York Times reported that she "oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects, and later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand."
The Times also reported that as an undercover agent, "she played a direct role in the CIA’s 'extraordinary rendition program,' under which captured militants were handed to foreign governments and held at secret facilities, where they were tortured by agency personnel."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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