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Haspel Confirmed As CIA's First Female Director

Gina Haspel testifies at a confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence on May 9.

The U.S. Senate has approved Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA, despite her role in the spy agency's past use of brutal interrogation techniques.

The 54-45 vote split both parties, with six Democrats joining most Republicans in support of Haspel’s nomination in the 100-member chamber.

A 33-year veteran of the CIA, Haspel will be the first woman to lead the agency and is currently serving as its acting director.

She will succeed Mike Pompeo as director. He became U.S. secretary of state last month.

In 2002, following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Haspel was in charge of a covert detention center in Thailand, where the agency conducted interrogations at a secret prison using methods including waterboarding.

During a Senate confirmation hearing on May 9, Haspel said she would never resume the spy agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters