Snowden slams Trump's CIA pick over 'black site'

Delhi, India Published: Mar 14, 2018, 12:50 AM(IST)

Edward Snowden. Photograph:( AFP )

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on Tuesday slammed the Trump administration over picking Gina Haspel as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Snowden attacked Haspel for her role in the 2002 torture of detainees at a secret CIA prison in Thailand which is dubbed as a "black site."

"Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who "tortured some folks," probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor," Snowden tweeted.

Haspel, who is a career intelligence officer and joined the CIA in 1985, reportedly oversaw a black site prison in Thailand where terrorism suspects were tortured.

She briefly ran the prison in 2002, according to the Guardian.

Haspel oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and her name was on a cable giving instructions to destroy video evidence documenting their interrogations, according to the Times.

One of the suspects was reportedly waterboarded 83 times in one month.

Haspel, who would be the first female director of the agency, if the US Senate confirms, will likely face questioning in her Senate confirmation for her involvement in the Thailand incident.

In an another Twitter post, Snowden, the whistleblower, who fled the country after exposing classified information in 2013 about US surveillance programs, wrote, "Are these really the values the US should be promoting? The CIA might as well start issuing uniforms decorated with skulls and lightning bolts."

On Tuesday, Trump made an announcement that Haspel would replace CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo is set to take over for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Trump has fired.

"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State," Trump wrote, "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!"

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