News has just emerged indicating that President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and he wasted no time in announcing that he would move CIA Director Mike Pompeo over to the position. Pompeo's move then opens up the top position in the CIA and Trump has announced that Gina Haspel will move into that spot. What do people need to know about the new potential CIA director?

Haspel will make history if she is confirmed

CBS News notes that Gina Haspel is the first woman to take on the CIA director position and she was also the first female CIA officer to become the deputy director last year as the Trump administration moved into place.

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Haspel has some controversial experience in her past, namely that she played a significant role in the covert program the US used to run that utilized harsh interrogation methods for suspected terrorists, including waterboarding.

For a time, Haspel ran the covert CIA prison in Thailand that notoriously waterboarded suspected terrorists Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah.

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She also then followed through on an order to destroy videos of said waterboarding. The 61-year-old joined the CIA in 1985, notes the New York Post, and she has previously served in several high-level positions within the agency.

Haspel's confirmation may get some pushback

Pro Publica noted via Twitter that Haspel will need to be confirmed by the Senate before officially taking over the role. However, given how prior confirmations have flowed through the Senate, it seems unlikely that her confirmation will be particularly difficult.

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Several Democrats voiced their opposition to Haspel when she was named to the deputy position, but most expect her to soon be approved to take over Pompeo's CIA role.

The American Civil Liberties Union promptly voiced concern over Haspel taking over the role, due to the previous allegations related to the secret prison in Thailand. The organization tweeted that she was central in “one of the most illegal and shameful chapters” in US history, adding that she was “up to her eyeballs in torture.” They are calling for documents related to her past work to be declassified before her nomination is considered.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding this latest development within the Trump administration. Tillerson reportedly learned of his firing via Twitter and President Trump was quick to praise his chemistry with new Secretary of State Pompeo. It seems that the administration is confident in placing Gina Haspel into the role of CIA director, but many will be curious to see if any additional pushback arises against this move.

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