CIA Declassifies More Details on Trump Nominee's History as Spy
(Bloomberg) -- The Central Intelligence Agency declassified more information about Acting Director Gina Haspel’s career, including years spent leading the agency’s work on Europe and Russia, but left out details on assignments that opponents say involved overseeing the torture of terrorism subjects abroad.
A two-page CIA statement on Tuesday disclosed that Haspel -- President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the agency -- served as chief of station for the Europe division from 2014 to 2017, and previously worked as chief of staff of the directorate of operations from 2005 to 2008. She was also deputy group chief of Russian operations in the Central Eurasia division from 1998 to 2000 and received language training in Turkish and Russian.
The CIA said its summary didn’t cover more than 30 “short-term, temporary duty” assignments. From 2001 to 2003, the CIA said only that Haspel was deputy group chief for its counterterrorism center in Langley, Virginia.
But the New York Times has reported that in 2002 Haspel oversaw a CIA prison in Thailand, where it said an al-Qaeda suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was waterboarded three times.
Such gaps have become the focus of criticism from human rights groups and some retired military and intelligence officials as well as some lawmakers ahead of Haspel’s May 9 confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. They say the CIA is only selectively disclosing information about Haspel’s background, withholding material on her alleged role in the agency’s CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program.
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