Central Intelligence Agency nominee says torture doesn't work

Wendy Jensen
May 10, 2018

Kamala Harris, D-Calif., pressed Haspel regarding her views on torture being "immoral". Haspel conceded that as acting director of the agency, she was in charge of deciding what remained secret about her past.

The Senate Intelligence Committee released a lengthy report in 2014 that concluded that the CIA's interrogation techniques were not a legitimate or useful way of procuring useful intelligence.

Haspel said, too, that she "conducted myself honorably and in accordance with USA law", and that she understands "the difference between right and wrong" when senators challenged her over why she went along with a program most now liken to torture, and the agency's efforts to cover it up. She also participated in the decision to destroy videotapes showing prisoners being tortured. Rather than say torture is wrong, for example, Haspel repeatedly cited US law that bans it to explain why she wouldn't restart it. The tweet also contained a link to an editorial from a right-leaning publication entitled, "the Conservative Case Against Gina Haspel". She became deputy director of the entire agency a year ago and is now its acting director.

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Obama installed as director of the CIA John Brennan, who as Haspel's superior at the agency played a major role in the program of illegal abductions, extraordinary rendition and torture. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., fresh off a primary victory, became the first Democrat (and first Democratic member of the committee) to endorse her, putting her one vote away from certain confirmation.

Haspel had overseen a detention facility for suspected terrorists in Thailand during the early years of the War on Terror, the Arizona Republic reported.

But she told senators that she doubted the president would ever ask her to waterboard a suspectand demurred when Sen.

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It didn't work, she told a congressional committee Wednesday. Or is she playing the same semantic games that torture defenders often do, retreating to the cover of that short-lived legal justification? The 500-page unclassified version of the report found that the activities led by Haspel at a Central Intelligence Agency black site codenamed "Cat's Eye" in Thailand included locking prisoners for prolonged periods in boxes as small as 21 inches wide, 2.5 feet deep and 2.5 feet high; "walling", or slamming their backs and heads repeatedly into a wall; and water boarding, a technique where water is poured through a cloth placed over the victim's mouth and nose, inducing drowning.

Even if Paul and others break from their party, Haspel could get the support she needs from across the aisle. Sen.

McCain, who is at home in Arizona recovering from surgery and treatment for cancer, will not be casting a vote on Haspel. "I believe that in the CIA's program - and I'm not attributing this to enhanced interrogation techniques - I believe, as many people, directors who have sat in this chair before me, that valuable information was obtained from senior al-Qaeda operatives that allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack", said Haspel. "I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination", he wrote.

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Haspel didn't talk about ultimatums or engage in hypotheticals about storming out of the Oval Office or offering her resignation.

Other reports by Info About Network

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