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Senate Confirms Gina Haspel As CIA Director

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by Henry Rodgers

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s choice for CIA Director Gina Haspel Thursday after months of rigorous debate from lawmakers.

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Senators voted to confirm Haspel 54-44 on the Senate floor. The vote came after a group of senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee voted againstTrump’s pick to lead the CIA Wednesday.

The committee voted 10-5 Wednesday in favor of Haspel. However, Haspel had enough votes to clear the intelligence committee for Thursday’s vote after Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted in favor of Haspel.

Haspel faced scrutiny throughout her confirmation process due to the fact that she had been previously appointed to oversee “enhanced interrogation methods” for the agency during former President George W. Bush’s administration. Haspel has over 30 years of history with the CIA. She joined the agency in 1985. Haspel ran a Thailand-based “black site” prison in 2002, which oversaw “the waterboarding and other harsh techniques” used to interrogate Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Haspel’s confirmation will be historic as she will become the first female director in CIA history.

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