A Lady in the CIA Race 🏁🎩


CIA gig is on the line

In March, Gina Haspel became the first woman to be nominated for the position of CIA Director. However, her nomination is in jeopardy over her involvement with the ‘Enhanced Interrogations’ program at the CIA. Haspel is otherwise qualified on paper. She is the current CIA Deputy Director and previously held the positions of Chief of Staff, Directorate of Operations, Chief of Station, and was a field agent, making for a total of 33 years at the CIA.

‘Enhanced Interrogation’ sound sketchy to you?

  1. Ding ding ding! You could call it a fancy way of saying ‘legal torture’. The Enhanced Interrogation (EIT) program is responsible for waterboarding Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, which caused ethical outrage, as well as deleting footage of other questionable interrogations. They mainly used 13 techniques during the time the program was active, ranging from mild dietary changes to walling.

Yes Haspel:

NBC News: Gina Haspel is the rare CIA director nominee that both parties should love.

Fox News: Gina Haspel deserves confirmation as the next CIA director

Those in favor of Haspel say that she is one of “the most qualified people ever nominated to lead the CIA”, with her decades of experience and consistent “composure” under pressure. As for the claims that she was involved with torture, they cite the 2010 investigation into the CIA as proof that no laws were broken, and that Haspel was not a part of deleting footage of torture. They also point out that Haspel herself has said that “in no uncertain terms” would she condone such actions today, even if it became legal again. According to those in favor, we need Haspel’s “political neutrality” and “fact-based intellect” in this position.


No Haspel:

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah’s senators should not reward torture. They should reject Haspel 

The Hill: We should oppose Gina Haspel's CIA nomination because of her torture record

Those opposed to Haspel say that confirming her would mean ‘directly endorsing’ torture. They say we need to stand firm for ‘human rights and dignity’ and be consistent in our condemnation of torture. They cite the fifth article of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says ‘no one shall be subjected to torture’, and claim that if Haspel is chosen it will reflect poorly on the U.S. as a world leader in human rights. The opposed say that the director needs to be a model of the CIA’s professional principles and that Gina is not the right choice since she was involved in programs that ‘violated the law’, ‘brought shame to our nation’, and ‘undermined’ national security.

Was Haspel really involved?

Gina Haspel may have been a part of the Enhanced Interrogation program, but did she endorse torture or the deletion of evidence of torture? The answer appears to be no. Haspel did write a memo authorizing the destruction of 92 tapes of interrogation, but her boss Jose Rodriguez is the one who ordered and sent the memo. Rodriguez also led Haspel to believe that he would seek permission of the CIA Director, which he did not do. In addition, Haspel has publicly condemned torture and was never seen in any footage of the interrogations.

Just tickle 'em until they talk

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