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Trump’s pick for CIA chief once ran a torture ‘black site’ in Thailand

24 27 92

US President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a veteran spymaster who once oversaw a secret prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were tortured.

Gina Haspel, the veteran CIA undercover officer, is supported by many in the US intelligence community but has faced criticism for overseeing the secret “black site” in the Southeast Asian country.

On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to announce the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo who would Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and that he has selected Gina Haspel to replace Pompeo, according to Khaosod English (via the Associated Press).

Intelligence officers who served with her, and congressional officials said that in 2002, during Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, she was responsible for the secret prison code-named “Cat’s Eye.” Two suspected members of the al Qaeda militant group were subjected to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques at the facility.

Three years later, still during Bush’s presidency, she carried out an order to destroy videotapes of the waterboarding, which simulates drowning and is considered a form of torture, according to those people.

SEE ALSO: What might come of a Donald Trump meeting with Kim Jong-un?

Haspel is generally held in high regard at the CIA, working as deputy director under Mike Pompeo, whom Trump nominated to be the next secretary of state on Tuesday after firing Rex Tillerson from the post.

If confirmed by the Senate, Haspel would become the first woman to lead the CIA. But she could face close scrutiny in her confirmation hearings over her involvement in the “black site” facilities, so called because their........

© Asian Correspondent