Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Cheney: US should restart harsh interrogations, backs Haspel

Gina Haspel Now Says CIA Shouldn't Have Conducted Its Interrogation Program Haspel Now Says CIA Waterboarding Never Should Have Happened
Ray Hunter | 15 May, 2018, 22:41

Under a tough grilling last week, Haspel pledged she would not restart the waterboarding program, even if pressured by President Trump - who has supported bringing back waterboarding or something worse. I also take to heart the strong support Ms. Haspel has among rank-and-file members of the intelligence community and from intelligence community leaders who served under President Obama.

In the letter, Haspel wrote that she would not "condemn" those who made the "hard calls" after the 9/11 terror attacks. Another Democrat, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, told reporters Monday that Haspel was qualified for the job and said she would make a decision after reading more documents.

Gina Haspel's comments came in a letter Tuesday to senators as the Trump administration works to shore up support for her confirmation amid an intensifying public debate over torture. Several addressed apparent discrepancies in her testimony.

The paper referenced Ms. Haspel's most controversial work - overseeing a Central Intelligence Agency secret prison in Thailand in 2002 where harsh interrogations, including waterboarding, were conducted and videotaped. The agency considered its interrogation program to derive from that authority. As chief of staff to the head of the agency's Counterterrorism Center, Jose Rodriguez, she drafted an order he issued to destroy the records as congressional scrutiny of the program increased. That raised questions because declassified documents show that two of the tapes recorded the interrogations of al-Nashiri, the detainee tortured in her custody, and the rest were of another prisoner, Abu Zubaydah.

Tension as U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers
NATO naval officials in late 2017 also reported Russian submarines probing underseas data cables in the North Atlantic. The F-22s escorted the Russian bombers until they left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Islands, heading west.

"Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America", Paul said in an interview as he left the Senate for the week on Thursday.

According to the Washington Post, a study the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that "the CIA's use of torture and other harsh interrogation techniques did not produce unique, critical intelligence that had not been replicated elsewhere or obtained through other means".

Appearing on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo, former Vice President Dick Cheney said he disagrees with the global community that calls waterboarding prisoners "torture", and said he would advocate for it once again if asked. A committee vote is expected Wednesday.

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