Gina Haspel, a Kentucky native, loves Johnny Cash so much she keeps a 5-foot-tall poster of the country music star in her office at the Central Intelligence Agency. She became a spy more than three decades ago, a time when few women filled that job, and rose through the ranks holding some of the agency’s most sensitive posts.

She once orchestrated a last-minute operation that captured two terrorists linked to the bombing of an embassy — earning one of the agency’s highest honors, according to her official biography.

When she appears before the U.S. Senate as President Trump’s nominee to run the agency, however, all that could fade in the glare of one chapter in a long career — her role after the Sept. 11 attacks, when she was stationed at a “black site” in Thailand where detainees were waterboarded.

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