Politics June 18, 2018
The longtime CIA agent has been sworn in as the agency's first female director.
It’s normal for us to see only men in authoritative positions. However, that “normal” is becoming a trend of the past. For instance, Gina Haspel was sworn in as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency back in May, thus becoming the first woman to hold this position in the agency’s history.
Haspel is serving as the replacement for former director Mike Pompeo, who was sworn in as Secretary of State.
The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump applauded Haspel for being the first woman to lead the “most elite intelligence professionals on the planet.”
However, many are questioning if Haspel will be able to handle the position due to her history with the CIA. Sen. John McCain said that her involvement in the Bush Administration’s interrogation programs made him question her nomination.
“Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing,” he said in a press release. “Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”
The Senate still confirmed Haspel’s position with a 54-45 vote.
However, Haspel’s career has proven that she is no stranger to the duties that await her.
Haspel is definitely not a rookie when it comes to running the show. She’s held several top-level positions during her covert operations career.
According to Biography, Haspel began her career with the CIA in 1985 as a Directorate of Operations Career Trainee, working mainly in undercover operations. And she only went up from there. She later served as deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and of the CIA.
Haspel is most known for her work with the CIA torture programs focusing on counterterrorism. She oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects at an undisclosed Thailand prison, according to Vox. Some of the tactics used included slamming suspects against walls and water-boarding them.
Despite criticism, she has received many awards, including a Presidential Rank Award and the Intelligence Medal of Merit.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Haspel hopes to improve foreign language proficiency and station more officers abroad. By doing so, the goal is to establish stronger relationships in foreign partnerships.
In that vein, Haspel assures another interrogation program with harsh torture techniques will not be restarted while she holds the director position, according to The New York Times. Although Haspel has participated in such programs herself, she stated that her “moral compass is strong.”
“Having served in that tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership, CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program,” Haspel stated.
Haspel is confident that questions involving her resume will not prevent her from fulfilling her new role.
As a CIA veteran, Haspel’s transition into her new position should be a simple one. Although others currently have doubts, Haspel seems to exude confidence and is stepping up to this next challenge with poise.
It’s also comforting to know that she has the support of the President. Not only did President Trump nominate Haspel for the position, he’s also been singing praises for her work ethic.
“This is a woman who has been a leader wherever she has gone. The C.I.A. wants her to lead them into America’s bright and glorious future!” he tweeted.
In addition to having the president’s endorsement, the CIA is in support of Haspel as the first female director, according to CBS News.
With her reputation, her professionalism during the nomination process and her 33 years of experience, it’s no wonder that Haspel was able to make history.
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