Senate Intelligence Committee approves “black site” torturer to head CIA
17 May 2018
The imminent Senate confirmation of veteran Central Intelligence Agency operative Gina Haspel to head Washington’s main spy agency is a new milestone in the collapse of American democracy.
On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to recommend Haspel’s confirmation by the full Senate. Two Democrats joined all eight Republicans on the panel in approving President Trump’s pick to succeed Mike Pompeo, who just three weeks ago was confirmed as the new secretary of state. The Democrats have already supplied a sufficient number of “yes” votes to assure Haspel’s confirmation by the full Senate as early as this week, just as they ensured the confirmation of Pompeo.
While Pompeo is notorious as a defender of the Bush administration’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e., torture, against terror suspects, Haspel ran a secret CIA torture prison in Thailand for two years. In addition, she drafted a 2005 memo ordering the destruction of videotapes of torture sessions at the Thailand “black site” in the face of demands that the evidence be turned over to congressional investigators.
The Intelligence Committee vote in her favor, coming just two days after the virtually unanimous defense from Democrats and Republicans of Israel’s murder and wounding of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian protesters, exposes the criminality that pervades the American ruling class and its state. The American capitalist class has endorsed the mass killing of civilians and the use of torture as tools of both foreign and domestic policy.
Haspel, a 33-year veteran of the CIA, directly oversaw the repeated waterboarding of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri at the Thailand torture…