CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel did not mock tortured detainee

Pauline Gross
March 19, 2018

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel was reportedly involved in the agency's torture program during the Bush administration.

At the Washington Post, former CIA counterterrorism officer John Kiriakou, who served 23 months in prison for publicly confirming the existence of the agency's torture program in 2007, wrote about the message Haspel's promotion to CIA Director would send to Americans and the worldwide community.

In an interview Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Paul said that he would do "whatever it takes, including filibuster" to oppose the nominations of Haspel and Mike Pompeo, whom Trump has nominated as secretary of state.

In the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, Pope St. John Paul II taught that torture is "intrinsically evil". Rand Paul called her the "head cheerleader for waterboarding". "I will try to make a point to the American people and maybe the American people will rise up and say, 'You know, we stand in solidarity with those who seek freedom from torture, not the freedom to a people, to have someone run our spy agency that has all of this enormous power, who is intimately involved with torture and from everything we're reading'". The organization said it is now clear that Haspel was not in charge of the base until after Zubaydah's interrogation was finished.

The investigative news outlet incorrectly reported that she oversaw the black site when al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded there 83 times, and that she privately mocked the prisoner.

The former Deputy CIA head has operated "black site" prisons and drafted orders to destroy evidence that would reveal torture. She is now the CIA's deputy director.

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"I'm looking for her to acknowledge that this behavior is no longer allowed and that she will adhere to the law as it exists", Graham said. The president fired Tillerson last week. These alone should immediately disqualify her for confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Despite ProPublica's correction to its story, on Friday morning, Paul repeated his intention to oppose Haspel's rise to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. According to the report, Ms. Haspel ordered the destruction of videotapes of Zubaydah's interrogations, in violation of a federal court order.

Michael Hayden, former National Security Agency director, told USA broadcaster NPR on Tuesday, "In all this turmoil, I actually think CIA is going to be a bit of a calm spot with Gina now being elevated to the director position". "Any nominee for Director of the CIA must pledge without reservation to uphold this prohibition, which has helped us to regain our position of leadership in the struggle for universal human rights-the struggle upon which this country was founded, and which remains its highest aspiration", said Senator John McCain in a statement released shortly after Trump announced Haspel as his pick for CIA Director on March 13.

It is true that there is a gruesome sense in which Haspel is the flawless choice to lead the CIA, as we are naïve if we picture the agency as a heretofore noble outfit that her leadership will newly corrupt. Instead of hailing her as an example of women's empowerment, they are saying she is a bad person because, in the words of Senator Rand Paul, she showed "joyful glee" in torturing people.

She accused Paul of "defending and sympathizing with terrorists" and said that Haspel had "spent her career defending the American people and homeland". After all, India's law enforcement agencies offer a rich pool of talented professionals who have sharpened their skills over several years of custodial torture. "Appointing people in high positions who are, to say the least, controversial - not only in terms of their views but in terms of their adherence to fundamental ethics and law in the U.S. and global law against torture", he said.

"We'd be shooting ourselves in the foot if she's not confirmed", he told Fox News.

Other reports by GizPress

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