Haspel deserves #PrisonNotPromotion

(TFC) – Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for Director of the CIA, oversaw a torture program at a black site codenamed Cat’s Eye. She took over the torture site in October of 2002. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has asked that charges be filed against her. Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union described Haspel as “quite literally a war criminal.” According to the memoirs of CIA official Jose Rodriguez, Jr., Haspel drafted a cable ordering the destruction of video evidence of the tortures in 2005. Edward Snowden suggested her promotion should be accompanied by new agency uniforms, then described Nazi SS uniforms.

The US Senate has the ability to shoot down this appointment.

It’s important to note the torture program was a failure:

“The torture techniques employed by the Bush administration after 9/11 were unreliable. They produced no actionable intelligence, disrupted no terrorist attacks, and saved no American lives.” – John Kiriakou, Former CIA

US Senators determined there was

“No evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through use of EITs. [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques]”

There is, however, ample evidence showing the torture program cost American lives. As Mathew Alexander, a former interrogator who refused to take part in the abuse, said:

 “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.”

To summarize, the US torture program saved no American lives but was directly responsible for providing the propaganda needed to recruit the foreign fighters that inflicted half of the US casualties. 3528 US military members were killed in action in Iraq. Even if Alexander’s estimation is high and even if the foreign fighters that flocked to Iraq due to the US torture program only caused one-third of those killed in combat, the US torture program is directly responsible for the deaths of over 1100 American troops. Prior to the torture program being discovered, the insurgency was mainly made up of former Iraqi soldiers, who while more brutal than western soldiers still acted as soldiers for the most part. They adopted a guerilla strategy just as our forces would do if the US was overrun. After the discovery of the torture program, the radicalized foreign fighters that entered Iraq were more akin to those that are labeled terrorists. It is important for the reader to remember that Iraq was not involved in the September 11th attacks.

Moving past the abysmal failure of the program, let’s not forget it is illegal. The actions of anyone participating in these programs should be grounds for their immediate termination and incarceration. Have we as a country sunk so low that promoting torturers is our new norm? No Senator who votes for the confirmation of this nomination deserves reelection. As far as I’m concerned, they’re accessories after the fact.