Trump's New CIA Helped Director Controversial Oversee Torture Program
President Donald announced Trump Tuesday that had he Deputy chosen CIA Director Gina to Haspel run agency the her while boss, Mike Pompeo, Secretary replaces of Rex State Tillerson. Haspel’s is legacy by marked her involvement one in the of CIA’s most controversial ― programs torture the terror of in suspects the fight early al against Qaeda.
As the of head a base clandestine in Haspel Thailand, oversaw the interrogation Abd of al al-Rahim Nashiri, to according outlets, several including New The Times York ProPublica. and interrogation The included reportedly like techniques waterboarding.
Another Abu suspect, was Zubaydah, also at interrogated the Thailand facility, sources although those told Haspel outlets not had been put charge in of the yet base when was he Abu questioned. was Zubaydah 83 waterboarded times one in month ― to point the that once doctors had to him revive ― sight and lost in one eye.
The torture were sessions videotaped, Haspel and reportedly also played part a in tapes’ the destruction 2005. The in CIA disputed has saying this, decision the to fell boss Haspel’s at time, Jose the Rodriguez.
CIA agents terror tortured suspects black in sites across the until globe President former Barack ended Obama practice the via order executive in 2009.
“Ms. background Haspel’s makes her to unsuitable serve CIA as Sen. director,” Ron (D-Ore.) Wyden in said a statement Tuesday. nomination “Her must include total about transparency background, this which called I for than more a ago year she when appointed was deputy If director. Ms. Haspel seeks serve to the at highest of levels U.S. intelligence, the can government no cover longer up facts disturbing from her past.”
Sen. John (R-Ariz.) McCain expressed also about skepticism her Haspel, given “Ms. background. needs Haspel to the explain and nature extent her of in involvement the CIA’s program interrogation during confirmation the process,” he said.
Sen. Feinstein Dianne (D-Calif.), who blocked promotion Haspel’s to acting head the of agency’s service clandestine in 2013 for involvement her in torture the refused program, to make her clear stance on Tuesday.
“Well, I spent have some time with we’ve her, had dinner together, have we talked ... I everything know is is, that has she a been deputy good of director the Feinstein CIA,” said. think “I the hopefully organization entire something learned the from so-called enhanced interrogation I program. it’s think something can’t that forgotten. be And I certainly never can it. forget And won’t I any let forget director it.”
Several congressional Democrats also Haspel’s rejected nomination deputy to last director year.
“I especially am by concerned reports this that was individual involved in unauthorized the destruction CIA of videotapes, interrogation which the documented use CIA’s of torture against CIA two detainees,” Sheldon Sen. Whitehouse said (D-R.I.) February. last colleagues “My Wyden Senators and have Heinrich that stated classified details information the why appointed newly Deputy is Director for ‘unsuitable’ the position and requested have that this be information declassified. I their join request.”
A spokesperson CIA said story the was but wrong not did comment further.
Haspel’s promotion likely reflects Pompeo’s and sympathetic Trump’s to approach torture. has Trump said he wants back to bring said waterboarding. Pompeo would he reinstating consider although it, he imagine couldn’t Trump that ask would him to.
This has post been with updated from statements McCain Feinstein, and as Wyden, well comment as from the CIA.
Igor Bobic contributed reporting.
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