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Stableford writes: "President Trump on Tuesday announced the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, appointing CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson, and Gina Haspel, Pompeo's deputy director at the CIA, to take over for Pompeo. If confirmed, Haspel will be the first woman ever to lead the U.S. spy agency."

Screengrab of Gina Haspel leading a toast to Ambassador Hugh Montgomery at an awards dinner in October 2017. (photo: YouTube)
Screengrab of Gina Haspel leading a toast to Ambassador Hugh Montgomery at an awards dinner in October 2017. (photo: YouTube)

Trump CIA Pick Gina Haspel Helped Lead US Torture Program

By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

13 March 18


resident Trump on Tuesday announced the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, appointing CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson, and Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s deputy director at the CIA, to take over for Pompeo. If confirmed, Haspel will be the first woman ever to lead the U.S. spy agency.

In a statement, Trump called Haspel’s appointment “a historic milestone.”

Haspel, who has spent most of her 30-plus years in the CIA undercover and has held numerous posts overseas, is well regarded within U.S. intelligence circles. But she’s also a controversial choice.

“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,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday. “To the best of my knowledge, she has been a good deputy director and I look forward to the opportunity to speak with her again.”

The Associated Press reports that in 2002, Haspel ran a secret prison in Thailand, the agency’s first overseas detention site, where accused terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded.

Last year, the New York Times noted that she oversaw the torture of the terrorism suspects and “later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations.”

Haspel, the Times said, played a “direct role” in the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition program,” in which “captured militants were handed to foreign governments and held at secret facilities, where they were tortured by agency personnel.”

President Barack Obama ordered the so-called black sites shuttered in 2009, shortly after he took office.

According to the New Yorker, the torture program “subjected dozens of suspected terrorists to savage interrogations, which included depriving them of sleep, squeezing them into coffins, and forcing water down their throats.”

Haspel, who joined the CIA in 1985, oversaw the secret operation from 2003 to 2005.

Later in 2005, she took part in the destruction of videotapes that showed the interrogation of Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. According to ProPublica, Haspel drafted the order to destroy the tapes, which was approved by her then-boss, Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s director of operations for counterterrorism.

“The cable left nothing to chance. It even told them how to get rid of the tapes,” Rodriguez wrote in his memoir, according to ProPublica. “They were to use an industrial-strength shredder to do the deed.”

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower who is living in exile in Russia, expressed his disbelief about the selection of Haspel.

Both Trump and Pompeo have voiced their support for torture. Trump was blunt in doing so. “Torture works,” he said during the campaign, calling for bringing back techniques “far, far worse” than waterboarding. (During the transition, however, Trump said that Gen. James Mattis, who he was considering for defense secretary, convinced him that torture was not the right approach.)

During his confirmation hearings, Pompeo said that he would “absolutely not” be in favor of bringing back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques that were previously utilized by the CIA.

But in written responses to questions after his hearing, Pompeo said he would be open to reviving the controversial torture program if circumstances warranted.

Although Haspel’s appointment to deputy director was exempt from Senate confirmation, her appointment by Trump to director requires one — and she will undoubtedly be grilled by lawmakers over her role in the Bush-era torture regime.

In 2013, Feinstein, then the senior Democrat on the intelligence committee, publicly protested Haspel’s promotion to acting head of the CIA’s clandestine service because of her participation in the torture program.

When Haspel was named deputy CIA director, in February 2017, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., sent a letter to Trump urging him to block her appointment.

“Her background makes her unsuitable for the position,” they wrote. your social media marketing partner


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+2 # bread and butter 2018-03-13 15:22
Score one for the ladies!
+4 # Kiwikid 2018-03-13 16:22
Timing is everything.
I'm left wondering if the firing of Tillerson and its downstream consequences, was saved for just a moment like this - to get the existential angst the GOP must be experiencing over Pennsylvania off the front page.
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-03-14 08:22
Fascist & inhuman monster: Trump’s cabinet grows ever more hideous.
+2 # bread and butter 2018-03-14 10:50
Don't worry. His turnover rate is about the same as Wal-Mart.

There aren't enough inhumane psychos to keep feeding him forever. Eventually, the world will run out, and he'll have to start over, rehiring the ones he fired a few months ago.

If the Trump Administration were a restaurant, it would have gone out of business after a the first few months.

As bad as he is at "being president", it's hard to imagine he was ever any good at running a business either. I think he's just a shifty con-artist, with a decades-long history of knowing how to get away with it, and take no blame for his actions.

As Dubya once said,

+4 # RLF 2018-03-14 08:31
What an evil bitch! I've actually heard talking heads defending her by saying "She was just following orders."! Think there were some war trials from WWII where they said the same thing!
+1 # laborequalswealth 2018-03-14 17:55
Yeah. I saw that, too.

This woman belongs in prison for her destruction of the torture tapes.

Government by psychopaths.
+1 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-03-14 19:17
Yep, Nuremberg defense....and John J McCloy of Chase Manhattan Bank, who helped create the OSS and later the CIA and advised the government on the internment of Japanese Americans, later got a lot of their sentences commuted.
from Wikipedia:
At the strong urging of the German government, he approved recommendations for pardoning and commutation of sentences of Nazi criminals including those of the prominent industrialists Friedrich Flick, Alfried Krupp, and Einsatzgruppe commander Martin Sandberger.[22] McCloy granted the restitution of Krupp's and Flick's entire property. He pardoned Ernst von Weizsäcker as well as Josef Dietrich and Joachim Peiper, convicted of mass murder for their roles in the Malmedy massacre.[22]

Welcome to the fully fledged face of Fascism and the Fourth Reich incubated and finally hatched in the USA.
+2 # elkingo 2018-03-14 16:02
One of the great principles supporting the truth of feminism and the equality of women:
women can be just as big assholes as men.
+1 # bread and butter 2018-03-14 19:46
Yep. Good to the see that big glass ceiling finally broken, huh!
+1 # elkingo 2018-03-14 16:05
Right RLF. The Nuremberg Principle: Anyone who issues, conveys or executes an illegal order is culpable". O yes, seem to remember we hanged some guys over this.

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