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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New CIA Deputy Chief was involved in worst abuses of the CIA

In May 2013 the Washington Post's Greg Miller reported that the head of the CIA clandestine service was being shifted from that position in a management shake-up by then-director John Brennan.

According to Miller, the person who was not named because she was a covert agent then, was centrally involved in the worst abuses of the CIA. She also had an extensive role in torturing detainees. Even worse she had run a secret prison in Thailand. This was one of the CIA black sites where prisoners were subjected to waterboarding and other torture techniques. A Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture also said that she played a central role in the torture of Abu Zubaydah. The person involved was Gina Haspel now the Deputy Director of the CIA.
The story of Zubaydah is filled with horrors. Poland and Pakistan helped out the US. Pakistan was allegedly paid $10 million to help capture him. The Wikipedia entry on Zubaydah points out:During the time in CIA custody Zubaydah was extensively interrogated; he was water-boarded 83 times[2] and subjected to numerous other torture techniques including forced nudity, sleep deprivation, confinement in small dark boxes, deprivation of solid food, stress positions, and physical assaults. While in CIA custody, Zubaydah lost his left eye.[3] Videotapes of some of Zubaydah's interrogations are amongst those destroyed by the CIA in 2005.Whlle Zubaydah is still being held in Guantanamo, the European Court of Human Rights ordered the Polish government to pay Zubaydah 100,000 euros for its part in helping the US and also awarded him 30,000 euros to cover his costs, Zubaydah said through his US lawyer that he would be donating the 100,000 euros to victims of torture.
Haspel played a vital role in destruction of interrogation tapes showing torture at her black site and others. This action violated many court orders and the demands of the 9/11 Commission and the advice of White House lawyers. Lee Hamilton and Thomas Keane the Commission chairs, condemned the actions as obstruction. A special prosecutor and a Grand Jury investigated the actions but decided not to lay any charges. The actions actually appear to be positive qualifications to be chosen for the position of Deputy Director of the CIA. She was selected by US President Donald Trump according to CIA director Mike Pompeo.
Haspel is a kindred spirit to Pompeo. Pompeo has said he is open to resurrecting Bush era torture techniques. He also opposes closing Guantanamo and thinks that Snowden should be tried and found guilty and given a death sentence. Both are also the type of characters that one would expect Trump to approve. However, one should note that the Democrats did nothing to punish those who were involved in torture. Indeed Obama's CIA director John Brennan supported some of the tactics used by Haspel and defended by Pompeo. 14 Democrats including Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, and sometime CIA critic Dianne Feinstein actually voted to confirm Pompeo. Trump is out to make America great again perhaps number one in the field of torture and mistreatment of prisoners taken as part of the war on terror. After all, Trump believes that torture works: "Donald Trump has used his first TV interview as president to say he believes torture “absolutely” works and that the US should “fight fire with fire.”"


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