Torture Prison Head Named Deputy CIA Director
Mike Pompeo (centre) is sworn in as director of the Central Intelligence Agency by Vice President Mike Pence, at the White House in Washington. Gina Haspel, who was deeply involved in the torture of detainees and later took part in the destruction of videotapes of the brutal interrogations, was named deputy director of the CIA on Feb 2. (image: Doug Mills/The New York Times)
On Thursday, Trump named Gina Haspel his deputy CIA director, agency head Mike Pompeo, saying:
“Gina is an exemplary intelligence officer and a devoted patriot who brings more than 30 years of Agency experience to the job. She is also a proven leader with an uncanny ability to get things done and to inspire those around her.”
“We are fortunate that someone of her intellect, skill, and experience will be our Deputy Director. I know she will do an outstanding job, and I look forward to working with her closely in the years ahead.”
She’s a modern-day Ilse Koch, wife of Karl Koch, Buchenwald concentration camp commandant from 1937 – 1941. Known as “the witch of Buchenwald” and similar pejoratives, survivors called her the camp’s “murderess,” notorious for sadistically abusing prisoners, taking pleasure in inflicting extreme cruelty.
Haspel is a career intelligence officer, the first woman to be named deputy CIA director. She ran an agency black site in Thailand, notorious for using torture during interrogations.
Post-9/11, she was instrumental in launching global black site torture prisons. Reportedly she was involved in destroying incriminating videotapes, showing torture at the facility she ran along with others.
Like all CIA operatives involved in torture, including top agency officials, she remains unaccountable for high crimes, rewarded instead of being prosecuted.
Candidate Trump said he’d “bring back waterboarding, and…a hell of a lot worse than” this technique…You have to fight fire with fire,” he blustered.
He should know by now that torture violates international and constitutional law. Besides, it doesn’t work, used more for control and punishment than to obtain information.
Defense Secretary Mattis earlier said he “never found it to be useful.” Trump said he’ll let him decide, explaining his view on torture hasn’t changed.
Does appointing Haspel deputy CIA director mean he intends authorizing torture as official administration policy, whether or not it’s used?