Donald Trump’s choice for CIA chief, Gina Haspel, isn’t only a torturer.
She’s a criminal.
Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Haspel personally supervised the waterboarding and torture of several suspects at so-called CIA black sites throughout the Third World. Several of these waterboarding sessions were videotaped, according to reports, but Haspel ordered the video evidence destroyed.
So she isn’t only a torturer, she violates the law in other important respects.
How did that deed go unpunished? Well, in February 2009 President Obama headed to CIA’s Langley, VA headquarters to insure that agents like her that they wouldn’t face prosecution. The United States, Obama said at the time, needed to “look forward, not backward” relative to torture under the Bush administration.
And so Haspel managed to rise to the No. 2 position at the CIA. And now that current CIA director Mike Pompeo will replace outgoing Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, Haspel becomes the first woman, and the first known torturer, to run a federal agency.
It’s true that Democrats might decide not to confirm her. But history suggests that they will be satisfied with asking a few pointed questions during her confirmation hearings. Then they’ll just sign off.
That’s one small step for Trump, one giant step for the new US Banana Republic.
For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.