WASHINGTON—Acknowledging the gender discrimination she faced in her field before receiving President Trump’s nomination to become the first female director of the CIA, career intelligence officer Gina Haspel recalled Tuesday having to torture many more prisoners than her male colleagues to prove herself. “For a long time, no one would take me seriously even though I was abusing twice as many detainees and employing far crueler methods than most of the men I worked with,” said Haspel, the current CIA deputy director, adding that her work overseeing the “Cat’s Eye” secret prison in Thailand in the early 2000s proved she could run an extralegal black site just as well as any man. “It was really frustrating how I’d have to continually come up with more innovative and brutal ways to torture high-value assets just to receive the slightest bit of recognition from my superiors, whereas the men who held the same position as me could just coast by on the same old sensory-deprivation techniques. I mean, I had to waterboard one suspected al-Qaeda member 83 times in a single month until he lost an eye—you think any of my male coworkers had to work that hard to get ahead? When you’re a woman, they never fully appreciate the things you do for them. It doesn’t matter how many videotapes of illegal torture you help destroy on the CIA’s behalf.” Haspel added that she hoped her promotion would help usher in a new age where there were more women like her in power.


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