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Trump's New Pick For CIA Director Once Headed A Controversial Torture Program

After President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a tweet, Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, took his place. That left an opening for a new director. Trump has chosen to nominate Deputy Director Gina Haspel. Although the White House is touting Haspel's nomination as "the first woman" to hold the position, more information is coming out about her past and the question has arisen — is she the right woman? 


In 2002, Haspel oversaw interrogations of two suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri that included slamming their heads against walls and excessive waterboarding up to 83 times in one month. One of the victims, Zubaydah, lost sight in one of his eyes due to the torture. 

There is also questions around the torture sessions being video tapped and Haspel playing a part in destroying those tapes. President Barack Obama signed an executive order ending the torture of suspects by the United States in 2009. 

Senator Ron Wyden has already spoken out against the nomination or Haspel, saying:

Ms. Haspel’s background makes her unsuitable to serve as CIA director. Her nomination must include total transparency about this background, which I called for more than a year ago when she was appointed deputy director. If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of U.S. intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past.

A report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2014 concluded that torture is ineffective in gathering information since victims will simply lie to end the torture. The report stated: 

The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees. [Detainees] fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence. 

Trump had promised during his campaign he would bring torture back. It looks like he is on his way with this nomination of Haspel. 

People are definitely worried about Haspel's nomination. 

There was also lots of sarcasm. 

Former Central Intelligence Agency employee and whistle blower, Edward Snowden, weighed in. 

People are questioning the timing of Tillerson's firing that started this. 

And people couldn't be excited about the first woman nominated. 

H/T: Huffington Post, The Nation