Posts Tagged ‘black sites’

Gina Haspel Behind CIA Water Torture, Evidence Destruction

March 15, 2018

Gina Haspel Behind CIA Water Torture, Evidence Destruction

President Donald Trump has nominated CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to be the next CIA Director, replacing Mike Pompeo. Ms. Haspel would be the first woman to head the intelligence agency, but her Senate confirmation is in doubt. Gina Haspel was involved in the CIA torture program at the “Cat’s Eye” secret prison in Thailand in 2002, and authorized the destruction of recordings of the brutal interrogations in a 2005 cover-up.

While those activities put her in good stead in the Bush-era CIA, and Mr. Trump believes “torture works” even though the facts say otherwise, Ms. Haspel’s confirmation hearings will be contentious. In the Senate, Republican John McCain (R-AZ), who was subjected to torture while a Vietnam POW, has some tough questions for Gina Haspel, and Rand Paul (R-TN) will not vote for  a nominee who “took joyful glee at someone who is being tortured.” So far, Ron Wyden, (D-OR) a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is the first Democratic Senator to flatly oppose the Haspel nomination because of the nominee’s involvement in the now-outlawed “enhanced interrogation techniques.” If the nomination moves forward, expect strenuous interrogation in the Senate.

Gina Haspel’s CIA torture program included several “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but we expect President Trump to repeat his claim that waterboarding isn’t torture. Look it up. Waterboarding is considered torture by the U.S. Army Field Manualinternational law, and U.N. Treaty. Many authorities believe waterboarding is forbidden under Title 18 of the U.S. legal code.


“Gina Haspel, Trump’s CIA director pick, oversaw the torture of dozens of people,” Alex Ward, Vox

“The CIA’s new nominee director Gina Haspel once ran a torture site and destroyed evidence,” Max de Haldevang, Quartz

“Haspel, poised to become first female CIA chief, ran controversial ‘black site’ prison,” Critiano Lima, Politico

“Gina Haspel, Trump’s Pick for CIA Director, Ran a Black Site for Torture,” Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

“‘She Should Be in Jail’—Rights Groups Rally to Stop Torture Overseer Turned Trump CIA Pick Gina Haspel,” Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast

Washington Breaks Out the ‘Just Following Orders’ Nazi Defense for CIA Director-Designate Gina Haspel,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept


“Trump’s CIA Pick Took Part in Silencing Torture Suspect,”  Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

“German NGO seeks arrest warrant for Donald Trump’s deputy CIA director,” Deutsche Welle


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Psychology Association: Okay, We’ll Stop Helping Torturers

August 8, 2015

Psychology Association: Okay, We'll Stop Helping Torturers

“The American Psychological Association voted Friday in favor of a resolution that would bar its members from participating in national security interrogations.

The resolution by the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists passed overwhelmingly. The only dissenting vote came from Col. Larry James, a former Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo.”

— “Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations,” Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News

“The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist … and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board. Mr. Behnke did not respond to a request for comment.”

— “Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds,” James Risen, New York Times


“Larry James,” Center for Torture Accountability

“US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says,” Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian