What's a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump's pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush.
Her role in destroying the CIA's damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her the perfect spy boss for Trump, the President for whom force, secrecy, and lies are solutions to every problem.
The big concern with Haspel isn't a return to torture as an openly discussed thing that our government does to terrorists. They don't need that. They're surely already continuing it, anyway, out of sight and under a better euphemism.
The bigger concern is that just as she helped her superiors at CIA destroy those waterboarding tapes, and seems content to defend that even now, she'll dutifully carry out new human rights violations under Trump.
And Trump has promised his base so very many of them.
Haspel will succeed Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed as Trump's secretary of state last month.
Hey, so remember how we told you the CIA was psyopsing America, and its lawmakers, to make Haspel happen?
We weren't kidding. Here's the New York Times today:
Behind the scenes, former high-level officials from the agency pressed senators to get behind her nomination.
Their efforts worked.
Aw yeah! Thanks, Democrats!
Six Democrats helped Republicans in confirming Haspel:
• Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia,
• Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana,
• Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida,
• Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota,
• Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and
• Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia –
…most of whom are up for re-election this November in states Trump won handily in 2016.
Remember their names.
Several senators who are Democrats and should know better "were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after 9/11," reports WaPo:
Lawmakers approved her nomination 54 to 45, with six Democrats voting yes and two Republicans voting no, after the agency launched an unprecedented public relations campaign to bolster Haspel's chances. She appears to have been helped by some last-minute arm-twisting by former CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta, who contacted at least five of the six Democrats who voted to endorse her bid to join President Trump's Cabinet, according to people with knowledge of the interactions.
She isn't known to be as close to Trump as Mike Pompeo, the previous director of CIA, now said to be one of the president's closest advisers "according to people with knowledge of Haspel and Trump's interactions."
Haspel will be the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.