This undated photo obtained courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shows Gina Haspel nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the CIA on March 13, 2018 in Washington,DC.
Gina Haspel, nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the CIA, is a black ops veteran who once ran a secret interrogation operation in Thailand accused of torturing detainees.
If approved by the Senate, Haspel would be the first woman ever to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Despite a controversial past, her rise is not surprising -- she previously served as CIA deputy director and led worldwide undercover spying operations, a CIA mission that has gained renewed importance in recent years.Haspel, 61, joined the spy agency in 1985 and served as chief of station in several posts around the world.
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Sir, Gina Haspel (Person in the news, March 17) is a dedicated patriot and, by virtue of long years of loyal service and wide experience, is a perfect fit for director of Central Intelligence. However, she will have to run a gauntlet of publicity-seeking senators in her confirmation hearings. She will have to smile while calmly tolerating questions designed to show how smart and concerned her questioners are, most of whom were never exposed to the frontline pressure and anxiety that characterised our agents in the fraught times following 9/11.

Here’s hoping she can convince virtue-signalling senators that ex post facto judgments should not keep a deserving professional from continuing to serve her country.

Paul Bloustein
Cincinnati, OH, US

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