President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been relieved of his duties and will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
In turn, Pompeo’s deputy director at the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, will be promoted to succeed him. Pending Senate confirmation, she will become the first woman ever to hold the position of CIA director.
Of course, as with most personnel changes in the Trump administration, the liberal media wasted absolutely no time in launching attacks on Haspel to discredit and smear her ahead of Senate hearings on her appointment.
The Washington Post reported that the 61-year-old Haspel spent most of her 30-plus-year career at the agency as an undercover operative on various assignments overseas, rising through the ranks to positions of leadership and gaining the trust and respect of fellow agency members as a veteran “insider.”
But it was also noted that she was heavily involved in the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” often referred to as torture by critics, as part of the Bush administration’s effort to wage the War on Terror following the 9/11 terror attacks.
Part of that involvement included heading up a CIA “black site” prison in Thailand in which U.S. agents were accused of using enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding to extract intelligence from suspected members of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
According to Business Insider, when the Senate Intelligence Committee began to look closely at allegations of torture at CIA black sites like the one Haspel oversaw in Thailand, scores of videotapes said to document the interrogations were allegedly destroyed by order of the CIA’s Clandestine Service chief, Jose Rodriguez.
However, Rodriguez later revealed in his memoir that Haspel, who once served as his chief of staff, actually wrote the cable ordering the destruction of the videotapes.
In early 2017, when Haspel was nominated to serve as deputy director under CIA head Pompeo, there were a number of Democrats who objected, including Sens. Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich. They declared that “her background makes her unsuitable for the position.”
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According to USA Today, Wyden reiterated that position Tuesday and stated, “Ms. Haspel’s background makes her unsuitable to serve as CIA director. If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of U.S. intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past.”
Furthermore, a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union insinuated that Haspel was guilty of being of “war criminal,” and the current deputy director of the ACLU said Haspel oversaw “one of the most illegal and shameful chapters in modern American history.”
“She was up to her eyeballs in torture: both in running a secret torture prison in Thailand, and carrying out an order to cover up torture crimes by destroying videotapes,” stated deputy director Christopher Anders. “One man held at the secret prison she ran was waterboarded 83 times, slammed against walls, sleep deprived, and locked in a coffin-like box. After she was promoted to a position back at CIA headquarters, she worked to destroy evidence of the torture crimes committed at the prison she ran.”
To be sure, Haspel has received quite a bit of support in her nomination as well, as Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr stated, “She has the right skill set, experience and judgment to lead one of our nation’s most critical agencies.” Likewise, Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton — who had previously been rumored to be in line for the position himself — called her “an excellent choice” and a “true professional.”
Regardless of one’s feelings on whether enhanced interrogation techniques are effective or not, the program over which Haspel is now being smeared was dismantled in 2009 by the Obama administration and doesn’t appear to be on the verge of resumption under Trump.
The swift manner in which Democrats and their media allies lashed out at her over the old controversy nevertheless predictably reveals more hypocrisy by the left as they yet again ignore or attack another of the women placed in a position of leadership by the supposedly misogynistic and sexist Trump.
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