Senate confirmation kabuki

We can all stop worrying. "Bloody" Gina Haspel won't restart the CIA torture program if she becomes CIA director. At least that's what the headlines say.

LATimes: Gina Haspel tells Senate panel she won't let the CIA resume abusive interrogations
WashPost: Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, pledges she won’t restart interrogation program

Except that isn't exactly what she said.
What Bloody Gina said had a bit more nuance.

Haspel vowed that under her leadership the CIA would not restart an interrogation program that employed torture techniques. “I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it.”

OK. So she wouldn't "undertake activity that she thought was immoral".
Fair 'nuff.
Torture is immoral by anyone's definition, so then...wait. What?

In exchanges with senators, Haspel was both defensive and evasive when pressed to expound on her views on the morality of the CIA’s use of torture. She repeatedly refused to characterize the program in hindsight as “immoral”. “My moral compass is strong,” she said.

Oooohhhh kkkaaayyy. Torture is immoral for everyone that doesn't go by the moniker of "Bloody Gina".
That puts things in a different light.

Well Senator Dianne Feinstein won't let Bloody Gina get away with those sorts of non-answers.

Feinstein was more circumspect. "It’s no secret I’ve had concerns in the past with her connection to the CIA torture program and have spent time with her discussing this," the senator said in a statement. But she added, "To the best of my knowledge she has been a good deputy director.”

Feinstein told The Bee Editorial Board that she had Haspel over to her home for dinner after the latter moved from London, where she'd served as chief of station for the CIA's Europe Division back to Washington, D.C. in 2017 to take over as deputy director of the CIA.

Oh, well. The important thing is that Bloody Gina can fix the real pressing problem at the CIA: gender diversity.
Haspel can help fix the CIA’s gender problem
Because it's important that women have the same equal opportunity to torture innocent people that men do.

32 users have voted.


Progressives could find themselves celebrating if they let the party leaders in the Senate do their job, and confirm Haspel ... because, you know, gender equity. Woohoo.

14 users have voted.


edg's picture


There's a special place in hell for women who don't support women torturers.

20 users have voted.
dkmich's picture


5 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

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but has it ever stopped? I admit, I don't know the answer to that but I would bet it has not stopped. Nice weasel word there.

24 users have voted.
ggersh's picture


but has it ever stopped?

It's amazing how this country has
flipped into being so evil that people
who once tortured are considered to
serve in our their government.

19 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, CIA Director (first staff meeting, 1981)


Bisbonian's picture

@ggersh Glad to see it's already been covered Smile

8 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Bollox Ref's picture

and other people's bits and pieces is what Gina Haspel does.

What's not to identify with, if you're a DC Dem?

17 users have voted.

from a reasonably stable genius.

JekyllnHyde's picture

When torture was routinely used during the Bush Years following 9/11 and the 2003 Iraq Invasion, most elected Democrats objected vociferously to illegal methods used to extract information from prisoners. Now? Not so much.

17 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

edg's picture

Bloody Gina and Brutish Dianne had dinner together, so everything is wunnerful, wunnerful.

12 users have voted.

that the most immoral thing Haspel has done was to accept that dinner invitation.

7 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

The McResistance democrats have supported huge military budget increases, broader AUMF authorization for the president. Up next, a new CIA torture director.
And a majority of the democratic base will fall for it, because the McResistance is keeping the focus on identity issues.
We're effed.

14 users have voted.

Mike Taylor

detroitmechworks's picture

Is worshipping the ground Feinstein is walking on today.

I guess I know why the order was given.

5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

dkmich's picture

She wouldn't know moral from immoral if it hit her in the head.

4 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

former FBI counterterrorism interrogator, has written and spoken widely about his work along with his partners interrogating high-level Al Qaeda prisoners both before and after 9/11. His history of the actionable intelligence he acquired before prisoners were removed from his custody and then tortured by CIA contractors is crucial to understanding the desperation of deep state actors in misrepresenting and covering up this madness.

In his book, The Black Banners, Soufan describes what he suggests is the cover-up of very bad, wrong-headed decisions to torture prisoners who were providing actionable intelligence. But as a reader, I see it quite differently. Every time Ali Soufan and his partners acquired important information, for example when they learned the identity of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, CIA contractors were brought in to remove the source from Soufan, begin the torture, and in some cases subsequently release the prisoner!

So my reading of this crime is that CIA was continuing its support of Al Qaeda and removing terrorist suspects from FBI scrutiny. In other words, they were preventing them from providing crucial intelligence. The example of information about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is most alarming because KSM was a student at a college in North Carolina near a CIA training center for jihadists, which CIA whistleblower Robert Baer described as specializing in remote-controlled detonation of explosives, the assembling of car bombs and bus bombs. Even if the cover-up of this relationship was with hindsight and "embarrassment," its effect was to protect Al Qaeda.

January 23, 2015
SPIEGEL published the following interview with Soufan in its Dec. 15, 2014 issue.

… Soufan: … long before the special interrogation techniques were used on Zubaydah… he began to tell us things. He was the first to identify Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who went by the codename "Mukhtar") and to explain to us what a crucial role he played in the Sept. 11 attacks. When we showed him pictures, actually in relation to someone else, he suddenly said, "That's Mukhtar, the guy who planned 9/11." He revealed to us the people pulling the strings behind the attacks, entirely without torture, without waterboarding, without us having asked or anticipated that.

SPIEGEL: President Bush later suggested that those things were the result of successful "enhanced interrogation techniques," in other words, of the interrogation program. The CIA claims to this day that that was the case.

Soufan: That is not true. The CIA's contractors hadn't even arrived at the secret prison at that point. To this day, I am not aware of any relevant intelligence that was obtained through the use of torture. The Senate report confirms this as well.

5 users have voted.