Posts Tagged ‘Central Intelligence Agency’

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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Pentagon Won’t Punish ‘Pillow-Talk’ Petraeus

February 4, 2016

Pentagon Won’t Punish 'Pillow-Talk' Petraeus
David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after revelations he’d shared classified information with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, won’t be punished any further by the Pentagon, reported the Washington Post. General Petraeus pleaded guilty to a single count of unauthorized use of classified material last year in a …, um, “sweetheart deal.” Now he won’t even be demoted and will continue to receive a four-star general’s retirement benefits, including a pension of nearly $220,000 a year.


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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

March 3, 2015

Petraeus Pillow Talk Plea

David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after 2012 revelations that he’d shared classified information with Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, will plead guilty to a single count of unauthorized use of classified material, and faces up to a year in jail. Perhaps General P. can continue to advise the White House on Middle East policy from prison, since that’s a pretty secure location.


General Petraeus: ‘I’ve Got a Secret’

November 9, 2012

General Petraeus: 'I've Got a Secret'

David Petraeus, retired four-star general and married man of 37 years, stepped down as CIA Director on Friday, admitting to an unwise extramarital affair. President Obama accepted his resignation.

Upon learning that a government official committed adultery, the American people had two questions. The first: “So what?” Expect plenty of questions from Republican congressmen, though, particularly those who’ve been caught in bed with women not their wives.

 Everyone has a second question ….