Gina Haspel, The Silent CIA Director
Just like a regular job or career, everyone has their good days and their bad ones. This is no different for the CIA Director Gina Haspel who has been with the CIA for over thirty years and worked under quite a few presidents. Haspel is a quiet person who keeps mostly to herself and speaks only when necessary. Others tell how she handles with a president, unlike any other, President Donald Trump.
At the beginning of the year, Haspel and other CIA leaders had to testify before Congress that no nuclear weapons were being built by Iran. This angered the president as he shot out a tweet calling his spy chiefs, “extremely passive and naive” and told them to “go back to school.”
But Last month the CIA redeemed themselves as they put together a case along with the president and his aides to find a reason for a military strike against Iran. The president later called off the military strike but had the sources he needed if he chose to proceed. He felt the loss of life was not worth proceeding. He used the CIA and credited them for the video footage of Iran which caught them putting mines on the oil tankers which exploded and how they moved their missiles in an attempt to attack U.S. personnel in the Persian Gulf.
From one extreme to another, Haspel explained how if you mess up the boss will attack, but if you do your job and remain quiet like most employees should, then the reward is great with acknowledgment. The CIA and Haspel have seen both sides of the fence with President Trump. It is what makes him the great businessman and leader he is. During his entire two and a half years as president, he takes what is important, runs with it and discards any junk which is irrelevant to his agenda.
Haspel has spent most of her time at the CIA working undercover, and now she faces the challenge of standing between the CIA and the President. She has seen many changes and faces a new change with John Ratcliffe replacing Daniel Coats who stepped down this week as the Director of National Intelligence.
President Trump has a unique relationship with the CIA and has questioned their accuracy on Russia. At times he felt like they were spying on him rather than the missions they had before them. As President Trump handpicked Ratcliffe to become the new intelligence Director he told reporters on Tuesday, “We need somebody strong that can really rein it in. Because as I think you’ve all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok. They’ve run amok.”
As the director of national intelligence, Ratcliffe would oversee the budgets and personnel. President Trump put him there because he feels Ratcliffe would be the aggressive and loyal man for the job that he needs him to be.
Haspel had not foreseen herself taking in all the president has to dish out, both good and bad, but everyone says she is succeeding. So what is the key to her success? Just like when she worked undercover, she continues to keep a low profile. She is involved with meetings but keeps mainly to herself.
Officials who know about the briefings say she walks in, listens, sticks to the facts while minimizing everything to a few key points of what the president needs to know. President Trump does not care for text as much as he does for graphics and pictures. She keeps everything to his liking and avoids any arguments or contradictions on his opinions. President Trump does like to hear everyone’s ideas, but some of his officials have put more than just ideas, and that is where he gets upset.
The organization see Haspel as one of their own and not just another politician, and they appreciate the president for choosing her. Along with keeping a low key, it keeps her in the president’s favor by not giving too many public speeches or answering questions from reporters who always tend to turn things against the president.
A former CIA Director John McLaughlin stated, “She possesses two key qualities you need in that job, judgment, and discretion.”
Another official stated, “Your first responsibility as the director is to protect your organization. With a normal president, there is a tremendous upside for the director to be out publicly, talking about what the agency is doing and being transparent with the American people. But this is not a normal president.”