President Trump is not afraid to change his top cabinet members. In an early morning tweet President Trump announced:
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
So who is Gina Haspel?
Our sources tell is that Gina Haspel was chosen for three reasons:
- She is easily confirm-able.
- She is a career bureaucrat who knows her way around Washington, D.C.
- She is known to not go against the wishes of her bosses. She is a yes woman.
Our understanding is that Ms. Haspel, while trained as a spy, is not a “spymaster” as some media outlets have written. While she has served in the field her positions were primarily administrative. We can’t determine if she has real “field (in the fight)” experience like some of her predecessors.
In the CIA 20% do all of the heavy lifting (field work), while the other 80% just show up for work. This is not to denigrate anyone employed by the CIA. Just as in our military it is those who are deployed and have actual combat experience who you want to lead the U.S. military at every level, including at the top. It appears Ms. Haspel is part of the 80%. A career CIA bureaucrat who is one nomination process from becoming the Director.
Ms. Haspel’s official CIA biography reads:
Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Gina Haspel was sworn in as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on February 7, 2017. In this position, she assists the D/CIA in managing intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign services.
Ms. Haspel is a career intelligence officer, having joined the CIA in 1985. She has extensive overseas experience and served as Chief of Station in several of her assignments. In Washington, she has held numerous senior leadership positions, including as Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service, Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service for Foreign Intelligence and Covert Action, and Chief of Staff for the Director of the National Clandestine Service.
Ms. Haspel is the recipient of numerous awards including the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism; the Donovan Award; the Intelligence Medal of Merit; and the Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the federal civil service.
You will note that Ms. Haspel has served extensively in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service. The National Clandestine Service is:
The Directorate of Operations (DO) serves as the clandestine arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the national authority for the coordination, de-confliction, and evaluation of clandestine operations across the Intelligence Community of the United States.
Accountable to the President, Congress, and the American public, the mission of the Directorate of Operations (DO) is to strengthen national security and foreign policy objectives through the clandestine collection of human intelligence (HUMINT) and Covert Action.
We cannot determine from our sources if Ms. Haspel has ever recruited someone or been involved in any covert action in the field.
The question is: Will Gina Haspel be an effective Director of the CIA?
Time will tell.