It has been a heated fight for the nomination of Gina Haspel as the new CIA director. Some have nicknamed her the “Queen of Torture.”
Haspel, now confirmed as our next CIA director, said in her bid to head the agency that the torture program shouldn’t have happened. But should we believe her?
Let’s give it a Reality Check.
Before CIA Director Gina Haspel was confirmed on Thursday, she had written a letter saying that the CIA should not have carried out the post- 9/11 torture and rendition program.
According to the letter, sent to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and obtained by CNN, Haspel now says that the torture program, “is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”
Haspel went on to say that the program had “ultimately done damage” to CIA officers and the U.S.’s “standing in the world.”
But she still claimed that the U.S. has gathered valuable intelligence from the program.
Keep in mind, as I have told you before, Gina Haspel didn’t just oversee a black site prison. She helped to destroy evidence of the program she now says did damage to the U.S. standing in the world.
But this isn’t the first CIA director to be exposed for their support of the torture program, and then to claim their opinion has changed.
Former CIA Director John Brennan defended the usefulness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation tactics after the CIA torture report was released.
In a 2014 press conference, Brennan stated that the CIA’s actions resulted in “useful” intelligence despite them being “abhorrent” and even exceeding what’s legal.
And yet, during his confirmation hearings in 2013, Brennan expressed doubts that the CIA enhanced interrogation program had resulted in valuable intelligence.
So once he was confirmed, he shed those doubts and concluded that the agency was in the right to torture.
What you need to know is that Haspel could do exactly what Brennan did once confirmed as the new head of the CIA – backtrack on comments in the confirmation hearing and stand firm with the agency’s torture and rendition actions.
Remember, during the hearings Haspel offered her “personal commitment” to not restart such a detention and interrogation program with the CIA.
Can we trust Haspel? NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted about Gina Haspel’s nomination to the CIA director position, saying, “If the congress confirms Gina Haspel, who admitted to participating in a torture program and personally writing the order to destroy evidence of that crime, is “qualified” to head the CIA, it says more about our government than it does about her.”