Monday, March 26, 2018

How Many Democratic Senators Will Approve Gina Haspel For CIA Chief?


The face of torture. Gina Haspel has been nominated for CIA chief. Which Democrats will support her? (source)

by Gaius Publius

An interesting vote will be coming up in the Senate, the confirmation vote on Trump nominee Gina Haspel as Director of the CIA. Make no mistake; this will be a torture vote, a yes or no to confirm the CIA's role in systematic torture of our "enemies" abroad (see below for details).

The last time a pro-torture Trump nominee came to the Senate — Mike Pompeo for the same job in January 2017 — the Senate confirmed him 66-32-2. The motion to bring his nomination to the floor, called the "motion to proceed" (MTP), passed by an overwhelming 89-8-3. (For what it's worth, Bernie Sanders was one of the few No votes on that motion.)

Democratic Party votes to confirm Pompeo included "progressives" Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Brian Schatz (HI). In all, 16 Democrats said yes to pro-torture Mike Pompeo, after which one of them, Whitehouse, got an earful at a town hall.

Gina Haspel for CIA Chief

Now comes Trump nominee Gina Haspel for CIA chief. She's not just pro-torture, she's an actual torturer. Will Democrats take a stand against her? If so, in what numbers?

Will they campaign publicly, in the press and elsewhere, against her torture background with the same vigor they campaigned against the travel ban and Obamacare repeal?

Or will most, as they did with Pompeo, quietly vote No knowing that enough of their Democratic colleagues will vote Yes to get the job done without them. Recall again the vote to bring Pompeo's nomination to the floor. That vote, the motion to proceed, was the only vote that mattered. No one serious about stopping a nomination votes Yes to on the motion to proceed, and it passed with overwhelming Democratic support.

Most of those we torture are dark-skinned and Muslim — an identity-politics gotcha for the gotcha-inclined. These are the same people targeted by Trump's widely hated travel ban, which Democrats came out strongly against. Of course, as Yahoo News points out, "If confirmed, 61-year-old Gina Haspel would become the first female head of the CIA," so there's that. 

Who will play hypocrite for the CIA? Which Democratic senators? Watch for that vote.

Gina Haspel's Torture Background

A fair amount has been written about Gina Haspel's background with the CIA, but this 2017 Glenn Greenwald piece is seminal. Bottom line — Haspel, as a CIA agent stationed abroad, ran a torture site.

Greenwald (emphasis mine):
In May 2013, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller reported that the head of the CIA’s clandestine service was being shifted out of that position as a result of “a management shake-up” by then-Director John Brennan. As Miller documented, this official — whom the paper did not name because she was a covert agent at the time — was centrally involved in the worst abuses of the CIA’s Bush-era torture regime.

As Miller put it, she was “directly involved in its controversial interrogation program” and had an “extensive role” in torturing detainees. Even more troubling, she “had run a secret prison in Thailand” — part of the CIA’s network of “black sites” — “where two detainees were subjected to waterboarding and other harsh techniques.” The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture also detailed the central role she played in the particularly gruesome torture of detainee Abu Zubaydah.

Beyond all that, she played a vital role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and other secret agency locations. The concealment of those interrogation tapes, which violated multiple court orders as well as the demands of the 9/11 commission and the advice of White House lawyers, was condemned as “obstruction” by commission chairs Lee Hamilton and Thomas Keane. A special prosecutor and grand jury investigated those actions but ultimately chose not to prosecute.

The name of that CIA official whose torture activities the Post described is Gina Haspel.
Keep in mind, the first purpose of torture is to please the torturer. She's the worst of the worst.

By the way, the John Brennan named above is the same person now passing as "hero of the anti-Trump resistance" John Brennan. That's who the mainstream #resistance is in bed with.

Think Brennan and those around him have an agenda? Do you think getting rid of Trump is their only goal?


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At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many? How many do the Republicans need to get this war criminal into that post? The "democrats" never fail to deliver when the Republicans need their votes.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering how long it would take DWT to do a treatment on haspel. Turns out we should clone GP and just let him write everything here. Things would make more sense.

Fact is the democraps are irrelevant. Unless 2 or 3 Nazis die or resign or forget to climb off their secretaries to go vote, the democraps ALL can pretend to oppose torture and vote nay. Well, that's not quite true. There will be the procedural (filibuster) to send the vote to the floor where several democraps will "support" sending her to the floor for a vote. They'll select those carefully. Manchin and Jones will be there for sure. Scummer probably unless he trades with a southern democrap to look better in NY.

Point is you won't learn much from the democrap votes on haspel. They CAN all vote nay for appearances (once it passes cloture) so most will. I'd guess Manchin and Jones might be the only ones to vote AYE.

Besides, I'd bet that only 2% of voters are even aware of her being a real live torturer, and half of THEM couldn't care less -- since she was torturing them evil ragheads and all.


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