Gina Haspel should be confirmed as CIA Director.
I did a Google search for information on Gina Haspel, Trump’s nomination for CIA director. It felt like a snipe hunt. It was like reading Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. A snipe hunt is a fool’s errand because there is no such animal. The hunting of the snark was total nonsense featuring highly dangerous Boojums and Bandersnatch from Jabberwocky. All I could get from Google were hit pieces by uber leftist websites and newspapers implying that if Gina Haspel had been born a couple of decades earlier should might have been the Commandant of Auschwitz and surely would have been a defendant at the Nuremberg trial.
Finally, after an exhaustive search I did find a splendid piece of honest reporting at, of all places, POLITICO. It’s a center-left site but had the good sense to print Don’t Bork Gina Haspel by Rich Lowry. The thesis sentence form the article says it all: “To punish Gina Haspel more than 15 years later for doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders, would be a travesty and a disgrace.”
Gina Haspel has been deputy director of the CIA for I don’t know how many years. Several people in a position to know have endorsed her. Trump holds her in high regard. I trust Trump a whole lot more than I trust seriously deranged John McCain or whimsical Rand Paul.
These are the two senators who say they will vote against her nomination because she was Deputy Director of the CIA when the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was carried out. This resulted in Mohammed giving up vital intelligence and the names of the main actors in the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center twin towers.
No democrat is supporting her, even though John Brennan and James Clapper, both of whom were CIA Director during the Obama administration, have praised her.
McCain and Paul have their undies in a knot over Haspel’s involvement with “torture”, by which they mean the enhanced interrogation methods used in the post-9/11 era. It matters not to them that these method rendered valuable information to the United States. It gave us the means to avoid subsequent attacks. Dozens of attacks have been stopped. Without the information gained from water boarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed some of those attacks would have succeeded. Mohammed was not tortured. His health was not impaired, in fact his health improved in U.S. custody. He was grossly overweight and lost 65 pounds at Gitmo. Waterboarding is unpleasant but leaves no lasting physical injury. The subject’s life expectancy is not shortened. It’s not torture, period.
The other reliable source of information, maybe the only one, about Gina Haspel comes from Mark Steyn. In March, 2017 Steyn interviewed the man who knows more about those methods than anybody else: James E. Mitchell. In an extended conversation about his book Enhanced Interrogation, Dr. Mitchell talks to Steyn about waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and getting to know some of the world’s most high-value terrorists – and what happened to him when his own government decided he was the problem.
The interview is an hour and ten minutes long, but if you have the time it is well worth watching. I wish John McCain and Rand Paul would watch it. Fat chance.