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Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA’s first female director

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA's first female director

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Haspel oversaw a secret US facility where terror suspects were tortured

The US Senate has approved the CIA's first female director, despite allegations that she was once involved in the torture of terrorism suspects.

Gina Haspel's confirmation follows a partisan fight among senators about the spy agency's past use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding.

Ms Haspel, a CIA veteran, once oversaw a so-called black site in Thailand after the 11 September attacks.

The former CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, left to become US Secretary of State.

Republican senator John McCain – who was tortured during his more than five years in a Vietnamese prison – had earlier announced his opposition to US President Donald Trump's nominee.

On Wednesday, one prominent Democrat said he would cross party lines to vote to confirm her.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner said Ms Haspel had indicated the agency should never have used so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

He said she had pledged never to use such methods even if the president demanded it.

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