We should be thrilled that the woman behind this major counterterrorism success has been nominated to become the first female director of the CIA — and only the second person ever to rise to the agency’s top post after spending her entire career in clandestine operations. But instead of being grateful that a seasoned, experienced intelligence operative has been chosen, Senate Democrats are threatening to kill her nomination.
This is insane. Gina Haspel is quite possibly the most qualified person ever nominated to lead the CIA. She has experience in virtually every agency discipline, from counterterrorism to counterintelligence and offensive intelligence operations — including personally recruiting spies and directing covert operations.
“She has served in some really tough places, high-risk hardship posts, and has performed some extraordinary operations,” said former CIA official Henry “Hank” Crumpton, who was Haspel’s boss in the agency’s National Resources Division. According to a source familiar with her career, Haspel was once deployed in a conflict zone, when military officials from a hostile nation arrived without warning at an event she was attending. As she left, they fired at her vehicle, blowing out a tire. She still keeps the bullet as a reminder of the risks CIA officers take each day to protect the country. She knows their sacrifices firsthand. For her, some of the stars on the CIA’s Memorial Wall represent the names and faces of friends she has lost in the line of duty.