For the first time in history, a woman has been named as the head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service. The same officer, however, is accused of destroying interrogation videos that involved the potential brutal treatment of prisoners.
The female CIA officer, who remains undercover and cannot be named, was put in the top position on an acting basis last month after the previous chief retired. The permanency of her position depends upon a controversial history, though.
In 2005, the female officer made the decision to sign off on interrogation videos that took place following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Certain interrogation methods within those videos have been deemed as torture. Meanwhile the new director of the CIA, John Brenan, has been attempting to distance the organization from accusations of torture interrogation tactics and misleading the White House about the organization's activities.
The videos were filmed in a secret Thailand prison. At least 90 videos existed depicting questionable methods of interrogation that may have been "illegal," according to some reports. The Clandestine Service had been denied permission to destroy the tapes. The female CIA officer and chief of staff Jose Rodriguez, both signed off on the destruction of the tapes anyway, according to the Daily Mail.
To ease the decision process Brenan has "taken the unusual step of assembling a group of three former CIA officials to evaluate the candidates," according to The Washington Post.
"The director of the clandestine service has never been picked that way," a former senior U.S. intelligence official told The Post.
While Brenan's methods appear fair to some, others have accused the director of attempting to avoid personal fault.