This week Donald Trump is trying to ‘reboot’ his administration. After firing his Secretary of State via Twitter, he announced he would be nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State and Gina Haspel to lead the CIA. Haspel oversaw and directed some of the most horrific policies of the George W. Bush administration. From Politico:
In nominating Haspel, Trump could hardly have selected a person more demonstrably ill-suited to carry out any of these essential duties. Although most of her career has taken place in the shadows and part of it was reportedly distinguished, Haspel is most prominently known for being intimately involved in carrying out the agency’s catastrophic Bush-era torture program or, as it was euphemistically called back then, the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program. As such, she bears great personal responsibility for a program famous for its exceptional savagery and brutality, managerial incompetence and consistent ill-judgment.
Haspel was no mere CIA paper-shuffler. By all accounts she was an engaged participant in the torture program. She reportedly ran the CIA’s torture “black site” in Thailand and directly supervised the inhuman interrogations of Al Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Later, when a congressional committee sought to exercise its constitutional oversight of the RDI program, Haspel was instrumental in the destruction of the videos of the black site waterboarding sessions—against the advice of superiors in the Bush administration. This act alone, which I believe was almost certainly motivated by a desire to destroy the evidence that waterboarding exceeded the legal threshold for torture and thus to evade both personal and institutional accountability and oversight, should be sufficient to disqualify her from confirmation.
Needless to say, even some Republicans are uneasy with this nomination. Sen. Rand Paul issued a statement saying he will oppose Gaspel’s nomination (Pompeo’s too.) Sen. John McCain said Gaspel’s record warranted serious consideration:
The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history. The Senate must do its job in scrutinizing the record & involvement of Gina Haspel in this disgraceful program. https://t.co/p2eZfMDF5N
Ã¢ÂÂ John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 13, 2018
Enter Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), daughter of Dick Cheney, to explain the Bush torture program to former prisoner of war John McCain.
The Enhanced Interrogation Program saved lives, prevented attacks, & produced intel that led to Osama bin Laden. The techniques were the same as those used on our own people in the SERE program. No one should slander the brave men & women who carried out this crucial program. https://t.co/IXQuldr1R6
Ã¢ÂÂ Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) March 13, 2018
Incredible. For what it’s worth, a three-year Senate investigation showed the CIA misled the American people about the effectiveness of the torture program. From NPR in 2014:
It looked at more than 6 million pages of CIA material over the course of more than three years, and it came to two major conclusions: The CIA misrepresented the interrogation techniques it was using at secret prisons abroad, and it also overstated the techniques’ efficacy. The report details the techniques used on detainees and found that those interrogations led to no useful intelligence.
Only hours after she torturesplained to John McCain, he celebrated the 45th anniversary of his release as a prisoner of war.
45 years ago today… pic.twitter.com/jXhCFY9pK2
Ã¢ÂÂ John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 14, 2018
Cheney didn’t stop at McCain, she also accused Sen. Rand Paul of sympathizing with terrorists:
Ã¢ÂÂ Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) March 14, 2018
Like her father, the Dark Side is strong with Liz Cheney.