Gina Haspel confirmed as new CIA director

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WASHINGTON: Veteran spy Gina Haspel will become the first female director of the CIA after six Democrats joined Republicans in a Senate confirmation vote on Thursday that overrode concerns about her role in the spy agency’s harsh interrogation program after 9/11.

The 54-45 vote split both parties, and the margin was the closest for a CIA nominee in the nearly seven decades that a nod from the Senate has been required. Haspel, who has spent nearly all of her 33-year CIA career in undercover positions, is the first career operations officer to be confirmed since William Colby in 1973.

Haspel, 61, is a native of Kentucky but grew up around the world as the daughter of an Air Force serviceman. She worked in Africa, Europe and classified locations around the globe and was tapped as deputy director of the CIA last year. She worked under former CIA director Mike Pompeo until President Donald Trump moved him to secretary of state.

Haspel was backed by many in the CIA rank-and-file and…

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