Senate confirmation hearing will focus on documents relating to interrogation techniques used inside a secret prison in Thailand

The battle in the Senate on Wednesday over Gina Haspel’s confirmation as the new director of the CIA is set to become a public reckoning of one of the darker chapters in modern US history.

Haspel, who is currently the CIA’s deputy director after 33 years in the agency, ran a secret detention centre in Thailand in 2002 where inmates were tortured. Over the following two years she was a senior operations officer at the CIA counter-terrorism centre, which oversaw the interrogation programme around the world. Then, in 2005, she drafted an order for her then boss, Jose Rodriguez, the head of the CIA clandestine service, calling for the destruction of nearly 100 videotapes of interrogation sessions.

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