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US News A woman atop the CIA was once unthinkable. But female spies have always been remarkable.

01:10  14 march  2018
01:10  14 march  2018 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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But female spies have always been remarkable . Since the CIA was formally established in September 1947, not one of its directors has been a woman .

But female spies have always been remarkable . Ian Shapira, The Washington Post. WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump made history Tuesday when he nominated Gina Haspel to become the first female director of the CIA .

a group of people posing for a photo: Elizabeth McIntosh, center, who conducted psychological warfare for the Office of Strategic Services, works in China during WWII. The OSS later became the CIA. (The OSS Society) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Elizabeth McIntosh, center, who conducted psychological warfare for the Office of Strategic Services, works in China during WWII. The OSS later became the CIA. (The OSS Society) President Trump made history Tuesday when he nominated Gina Haspel to become the first female director of the CIA. If she replaces Mike Pompeo, who would succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, her confirmation would mark a massive milestone for the spy agency, which has long been dominated by men.

Since the CIA was formally established in September 1947, not one of its directors has been a woman. When it was founded after World War II, a group of women — many of them former operatives from the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services — began working for Langley. Some, including legendary World War II spy Virginia Hall, were highly accomplished and brave operatives but did not earn the same salaries or promotions as their male counterparts. A far larger number of the agency’s women worked as secretaries or clerks.

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To its credit, the CIA from its earliest days has acknowledged the gender inequities and has attempted to remedy them. In the early 1950s, then-Director Allen Dulles ordered an internal review — led by a group of CIA women famously called The Petticoat Panel — to examine the pay and rank disparities between male and female employees. According to the CIA’s website, the report found that the median grade for women was GS-5 and, for men, GS-9. Not a single woman worked in the senior executive service.

a couple of men posing for a photo: Virginia Hall is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. William Donovan, chief of Office of Strategic Services in 1945. © Photo courtesy of Erik Kirzinger./ Virginia Hall is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. William Donovan, chief of Office of Strategic Services in 1945. In the mid-1990s, several women in the CIA’s clandestine unit threatened to file a class-action lawsuit against their employer, accusing of it “widespread sexual bias and harassment,” according to a New York Times report. A federal judge approved an out-of-court settlement that required the CIA to pay the women $1 million, a figure that the officers unsuccessfully battled against because they thought it was too low. The women had claimed they’d lost out on promotions by an entrenched “old boys” network.

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It was “Mad Men” with security clearances, but some skilled female spies rose high in the ranks. “I always put that down to women [ being ] more sensitive [to] who’s near or in their space, for physical protection.” The CIA has never been headed by a woman .

“The greatest thing would be if Felicity was recruited by the CIA ,” J.J. Abrams once said about the It’s also an excellent explanation for why there are so many female spies on television. If television is an accurate guide—and it probably isn’t— women are taking over the security services.

Over the years, the CIA has dramatically increased the number of women in its ranks, with the agency reporting the percentage of women at the agency was just under 50 percent, including full- and part-time employees.

Women also have played major roles in two key moments in the agency’s history: They led the team that identified Aldrich Ames as one of the agency’s most notorious Russian moles; and they also dominated the group known as Alec Station that had been established in the years before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to track Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda operatives.

Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the agency, is reportedly well-liked among CIA lifers. But she also has been condemned for her involvement in running a secret “black site” prison where detainees were waterboarded and subjected to other forms of torture.

Aldrich Ames et al. looking at the camera: Sandy Grimes, left, who helped lead the hunt for Aldrich Ames, right. © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Sandy Grimes, left, who helped lead the hunt for Aldrich Ames, right. Women spies have long captured the public’s imagination. They’ve had starring roles in Hollywood dramas, most notably “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden, and Showtime’s “Homeland,” which stars an on-again, off-again CIA officer played by actress Clare Danes.

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The CIA 's female trailblazers. Here are some of the women who paved the way for Haspel. Virginia Hall, 'The Limping Lady': The Maryland-born spy was known as 'The Limping Lady' because After the OSS, she went on to work for the CIA , but she always kept mum in interviews about her work there.

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Here are some of the agency’s most notable female trailblazers.

The Maryland-born spy was known as “The Limping Lady” because she relied on a prosthetic limb after losing her left leg in a hunting accident. She worked for the OSS behind enemy lines in France to help foment the resistance against the Nazis. But she was being hunted by Gestapo chief, Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie, who went by his own moniker, the “Butcher of Lyon.” Barbie once reportedly told his underlings, “I’d give anything to lay my hands on that Canadian b—-.”

With her life in danger, Hall finally fled France by trekking over the snow-covered mountains into Spain. She used her good leg as a snowplow and dragged the seven-pound wooden leg she’d nicknamed “Cuthbert” behind her, according to Judith Pearson’s 2005 biography of Hall, “The Wolves at the Door.” After the war, Hall joined the CIA, and last year the agency named a training facility after her.

a boy sitting on a bed: Jennifer Matthews, with her children in 2005. (Courtesy of family.) © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post Jennifer Matthews, with her children in 2005. (Courtesy of family.) Originally a journalist in Hawaii who witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, McIntosh — known as Betty — spoke fluent Japanese and worked as a propaganda specialist across Asia and Southeast Asia during World War II.

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The CIA 's female trailblazers. Here are some of the women who paved the way for Haspel. Virginia Hall, 'The Limping Lady': The Maryland-born spy was known as 'The Limping Lady' because After the OSS, she went on to work for the CIA , but she always kept mum in interviews about her work there.

I felt that there was only one way to understand the makings of a female spy : track, locate and interview one. One of the CIA 's best-kept secrets. “ Women are already attuned to the security of their environment. We are always on the lookout for suspicious characters, people who might be

As an OSS officer in the Morale Operations branch, McIntosh participated in all manner of deception. Once, she whipped up and distributed a fake Japanese government order demanding that its soldiers in Burma surrender. She even made a Japanese POW write the directive in calligraphy so it would look realistic.

But it was another operation during World War II that always haunted McIntosh. She was asked by her superiors to deliver a mysterious chunk of coal to a Chinese OSS agent at a railway in the city of Kunming, in the south of China. She later found out from her second husband and a senior OSS official that the coal was actually dynamite. The Chinese agent had apparently boarded a train full of Japanese soldiers and threw the bomb into the train’s engine as it was heading over a bridge, where it exploded and killed most of those aboard.

After the OSS, she went on to work for the CIA, but she always kept mum in interviews about her work there. When she turned 100 in 2015, then-CIA Director John Brennan held a celebration for her. Three months later, she died.

These two women led the hunt for a Russian mole inside Langley who had been passing along some of the agency’s biggest secrets — the names of Russian informants — to the KGB. The mole turned out to be Aldrich Ames. By the mid-1980s, the CIA began noticing that several of its Russian informants were disappearing. Soon they concluded that the agency must have been infiltrated by a mole who was handing over the CIA’s most valuable information straight to its Cold War enemy.

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He also prominently features a black female character (Paula Grant) who is a CIA agent. The Unkole tribe aka "The flying tribe" has always been considered an urban myth. Despite having a checkered past women loved him: He was once charged with shooting a man and a white call girl slashed his

The CIA 's female trailblazers. Here are some of the women who paved the way for Haspel. Virginia Hall, 'The Limping Lady': The Maryland-born spy was known as 'The Limping Lady' because After the OSS, she went on to work for the CIA , but she always kept mum in interviews about her work there.

The agency quietly assembled an investigative team, led by Sandy Grimes, Jeanne Vertefeuille, Diane Worthen, along with Don Payne and Paul Redmond. It took years of patience and painstaking work, but by 1992, Grimes began examining his finances and noticed mysteriously timed bank deposits into Ames’s account shortly after his meetings with a Soviet arms control specialist. After another two years, Ames was finally arrested.

One of the early members of Alec Station, Matthews doggedly hunted al-Qaeda well before the phrase became part of American vernacular. She quickly ascended the agency’s ladder and, at the height of the chase for bin Laden, was promoted to run a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan. On Dec. 30, 2009, according to a CIA internal report, she and fellow members of her team failed to follow standard safety procedures, and allowed a Jordanian doctor Humam al-Balawi — believed to be close to Bin Laden — onto the base without ensuring he wasn’t carrying explosives.

When al-Balawi was driven onto the base, he blew himself up, killing Matthews and six other CIA operatives. After the attack, Matthews received criticism that she’d been fast-tracked and was unqualified to run the base, setting off rounds of backlash from former and current CIA officers who claimed the attacks were sexist. Matthews’s role at the agency was depicted in the movie, “Zero Dark Thirty” and chronicled extensively by Post reporter Joby Warrick in his book, “The Triple Agent.”

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