Not Just Immoral, But a Tool for More War

Photo by DonkeyHotey | CC BY 2.0

With the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA, there’s rightfully some interest in her record regarding torture.

Of course, there are questions of legality and ethics and with respect to torture and it’s possible as some have argued that the motivation of Haspel and others in overseeing torture and covering it up may be simple sadism.

But — especially given how little we know about Haspel’s record — it’s possible that there’s an even more insidious motive in the U.S. government practicing torture: To produce the rigged case for more war. Examining this possibility is made all the more urgent as Trump has put in place what clearly appears to be a war cabinet. My recent questioning at the State Department failed to produce a condemnation of waterboarding by spokesperson Heather Nauert.

Gina Haspel’s hearing on Wednesday gives increased urgency to highlighting her record on torture and how torture has been “exploited.” That is, how torture was used to create “intelligence” for select policies, including the initiation of war.

Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, has stated that neither he nor Powell were aware that the claims that Powell made before the UN just before the invasion of Iraq where partly based on torture. According to Wilkerson, Dick Cheney and the CIA prevailed on Powell to make false statements about a connection between Al-Qaeda and Iraq without telling…

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