March 13th, 2018
As CIA director Mike Pompeo moves to become the United Statesâ€™ secretary of state, deputy director Gina Haspel has been nominated to lead the agency. If confirmed by the Senate, she will become the first woman to run the CIA.
Haspelâ€™s nomination will be controversial; she played a leading role (paywall) in running a US torture site abroad and later destroyed the evidence of it.
In 2002, she oversaw a secret prison in Thailand that tortured two terrorism suspects. That torture took place within the CIAâ€™s â€œextraordinary renditionâ€� program, in which suspected terrorists are sent to US allies, and interrogated in â€œblack sitesâ€� on their soil.
One of the men, known as Abu Zubayda, was waterboarded 83 times in one month and was slammed into walls by the head. He was deprived of sleep and kept in a coffin-like box. Interrogators later decided he didnâ€™t have any useful information.
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