El Trumpo announced that he’s nominating a new CIA director, Gina Haspel. She is the deputy CIA Director and comes with a great resume.
Almost immediately Democrats starting saying how they’re going to try to undermine the nomination during the confirmation process – she was part of the CIA leadership when they were using “advanced interrogation techniques” that Dems and others are saying were torture.
My statement on the regrettable nominations of Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel: pic.twitter.com/vOBE3aEjdM— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) March 13, 2018
Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who "tortured some folks," probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor. Details: https://t.co/7q4euQKtm7— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 13, 2018
After she was promoted to a position back at CIA headquarters, Haspel worked to destroy evidence of the torture crimes committed at the prison she ran. The CIA must declassify and release every aspect of Haspel's torture record before considering the nomination.— ACLU (@ACLU) March 13, 2018
Gina Haspel, Trump's choice for new CIA director, oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects and later took part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 13, 2018
How times have changed: Gina Haspel in 2013 lost a senior operational job at the CIA because of her role overseeing torture. Now, barring an unforeseen confirmation glitch, she will be director.— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) March 13, 2018
And John McCain is gonna help them:
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— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 13, 2018
Here’s Tom Rogan at the Washington Examiner, explaining why she’s a great pick:
Pompeo’s tenure at CIA has been positively defined by his encouragement to operations officers to take greater risks in the pursuit of higher value intelligence gains. As deputy director under Pompeo, it is likely that Haspel shares Pompeo’s affinity for high-risk enterprising. If not, Pompeo would not likely have recommended her to the president.
And in that, President Trump also deserves credit here. After all, Trump is often accused of politicizing the intelligence process, and sometimes does so, as with his comments on Russia at various times. Yet here, he has appointed a career professional rather than a lackey. The distinction is crucially important in an era in which the U.S. faces a diversity of threats from terrorism to state instability to rising challenges from China and Russia.
Ultimately, it is telling that former CIA directors from John Brennan to Mike Hayden are lining up behind Haspel’s nomination. They recognize that Haspel retains the trust of her workforce and the competency to objectively represent its products and interests at the White House.
While Democrats will regurgitate their fake news torture report in order to oppose Haspel’s nomination, Trump and Republicans should reach out to nonpartisan patriots like Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and give Haspel their full support.
I have spoken to a former CIA agent about this issue and he says the CIA agents were completely thrown under the bus by Obama and others on the subject of advanced interrogation techniques, and that people calling it torture were completely exaggerating. On the other hand, I’ve seen some stuff that was used on detainees that made me a little uneasy about those techniques. Either way, I don’t think it should prohibit anyone from confirming Haspel, who seems like a good pick.
Even Trump-hating James Clapper thinks she’s a great pick:
And some other takes on her nomination:
On the one hand, McMaster (NSA), Pompeo (State), Mattis (Defense), Haley (UN) and Haspel (CIA)--and for that matter Kelly (COS)--is an excellent foreign policy team.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 13, 2018
On the other hand, Trump is POTUS.
Very smart of President Trump to name Gina Haspel to run the CIA. Only needing to pay her 72% of Pompeo’s salary is found money for the wall— Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier) March 13, 2018
Democrats find Gina Haspel torturous, I find Nancy Pelosi torturous.— Dennis Miller (@DennisDMZ) March 13, 2018
If Gina Haspel was a D, the only headline would be "First Female CIA Director."— jon gabriel (@exjon) March 13, 2018