Tag: Crimes Against Humanity

Trump Is Still Not the Deporter in Chief

There has been a lot of outrage over how DoJ Lawyer Sarah Fabian has been saying that children in detention do not need mattress, or soap, or toothbrushes or real blankets in detention facilities kept so cold that they are nicknamed “Refrigerators”.

Well, it turns out that she’s done worse things.

In particular, she argued for putting children in solitary confinement under the Obama administration:

………

The United States’s loathsome argument—that it is “safe and sanitary” to confine children without soap, toothbrushes, dry clothes, and on concrete under bright lights—is morally indefensible. It’s also a spectacularly foolish argument to raise in the famously liberal Ninth Circuit, where the United States should have expected exactly the reception that it got. And even though the litigation began under the Obama administration, it was the Trump administration that elected to bring this appeal and ask the court to bless these inhumane conditions as “safe and sanitary.” That’s an extremely aggressive legal argument, and one that suggests that the disturbing conditions being reported at confinement centers are intentional, not a sign of mere neglect.

It is right and fit to condemn the Trump administration for its argument and its treatment of children. But it’s wrong to think the problem can be cured with a presidential election. Trump will depart; the problem will not depart with him. This administration is merely the latest one to subject immigrant children to abusive conditions. It’s been 35 years since Jenny Flores was strip-searched in an adult facility. Before Sarah Fabian defended concrete floors and bright lights for President Donald Trump, she defended putting kids in solitary confinement for President Barack Obama.

Remember, the UN has defined solitary confinement as torture, and the DoJ, and ICE, and CBP asked the courts to allow them to torture children with solitary confinement in 2015:

The Department of (in) Justice recently submitted a motion in opposition to a lawsuit filed by mothers and their children who want ICE to stop torturing their children by placing them in solitary confinement.

The DOJ now can be called the DOIJ for its monstrous defense and advocacy for the following policy:

ICE also has family residential standards that govern discipline and cover, among other things, a situation where a resident has participated in the offense of “insurrection,” which is defined as “[p]articipation or encouraging another to participate in unauthorized activity such as protesting or rioting.” See ICE/DRO Residential Standard, Discipline and Behavior Management, at 17, attached hereto as Exhibit O.6

The ICE disciplinary standards state that their purpose is to “provide a safe and orderly living environment” at ICE family residential facilities, and to “manage discipline and behavioral problems in a manner that ensures the safety and welfare of staff, residents, and visitors.” Exhibit O at 1. “Insurrection” is considered a major offense at ICE family residential facilities, and under the standards requires separation from the general population. Id. at 16-17. Medical observation rooms may be used to facilitate this separation.

In other words, if a mother protests or encourages another to protest, DOJ,  led by the lawyer-warrior in favor of locking up toddlers and children, Sarah B. Fabian, ICE has a right to punish the mothers’ children with solitary confinement.

I would note that the pace of deportations under the Obama administration are still outpaced by those of the Obama administration.

There is a special place in hell for both of them.

They Are Concentration Camps

From any reasonable historical perspective, the ICE detention facilities are concentration camps, as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stated. (Above link to a Jewish historian saying same)

The Germans adopted the term “Concentration Camp” for their camps, which were better described as death camps, because it put a civilized gloss on what was a barbaric enterprise.

This week, conservatives weaponized Jewish suffering to divert discussion from the massive human rights abuses occurring at our border.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of the man who called torture “enhanced interrogation,” scolded Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for using the term “concentration camp” to describe the growing civilian detention system, including the reopening of Fort Sill, previously a Japanese American internment camp, to hold children.

Since then, Jews have split on whether it’s appropriate to use “concentration camp” outside the context of the Holocaust. There are those who find the term too emotionally charged, or who believe the sheer scale of the Nazi Final Solution bars any possible comparison.

Though I disagree, I understand. My father turned seven on June 22, 1941, the day the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. I was raised with the story of how my grandmother saved my dad and aunt with her quick thinking and a cramped spot on a cattle train leaving Odessa for Siberia. Those who remained were shot. As a Jew, I bear witness to the memory of those who did not survive.

I’m also a legal historian, and my research on genocide and crimes against humanity has made clear that while the Holocaust is unique in its scale and implementation, the perpetrators and motivations are not. Genocide is a human crime, not a German one. In the wake of World War II, human rights laws were written in the hopes of preventing future tragedies, not for labeling the past.

You can also listen to George Takei, who spent much of the World War II in US concentration camps:

I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 19, 2019

I have not yet had the opportunity to discuss this with a relative who spent much of WWII in a Japanese concentration camp in the Philippines, but I hope to.

This Should Have Happened 4 Years Ago

The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.

In three back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing in October of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A United Nations report released Wednesday made the most authoritative case to date that responsibility for the killing and its cover-up lies at the highest levels of the Saudi royal court.

No other foreign policy issue has created as large a rift between President Trump and Congress, and the vote to block the arms sales deepens the divide. It is the second time in just a few months that members of Mr. Trump’s party have publicly opposed his foreign policy, with both the House and Senate approving bipartisan legislation this spring to cut off military assistance to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen using the 1973 War Powers Act, only to see it vetoed.

………

The vote came the same day that Britain announced it would temporarily suspend approval of any new licenses to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, after an unexpected court ruling that ministers had acted unlawfully in allowing the sale of weapons when there was a clear possibility they might be used in violation of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

This war, and the criminal brutality, has been going on for far too long.

Manning Jailed Again

Seeing as how they already have his testimony from his plea, my only conclusion is that the prosecutors are trying to suborn perjury against Assange:

Chelsea Manning was again behind bars on Thursday night after she was jailed for a second time for contempt of court, having refused to cooperate with a grand jury.

A defiant Manning told Judge Anthony Trenga in a federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia, that she would “rather starve to death” than do what the state insisted and give testimony before the grand jury. Having already served 62 days in jail, 28 of which were spent in solitary confinement, she now faces up to 18 months more in custody.

To quote Anatole France, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.”

So, the Trump Administration is Pro Rape as a Weapon of War

It appears that the whole, “Shining city upon the hill,” thing is now inoperative:

A German-drafted resolution was adopted after a reference was cut referring to the need for U.N. bodies and donors to give timely “sexual and reproductive health” assistance to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.

The U.S. veto threat was the latest in a string of policy reversals that some U.N. diplomats say has been driven by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a conservative Christian who staunchly opposes abortion rights.

………

Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen did not speak after the council vote.

After the vote French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told the 15-member body: “It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict – and who obviously didn’t choose to become pregnant – should have the right to terminate their pregnancy.”

The language promoting sexual and reproductive health is long-agreed internationally, including in resolutions adopted by the Security Council in 2009 and 2013 and several resolutions adopted annually by the 193-member General Assembly.

The text adopted on Tuesday simply reaffirms the council’s commitment to the 2009 and 2013 resolutions. A reference to the work of the International Criminal Court in fighting the most serious crimes against women and girls was also watered-down to win over Washington, which is not a member of the institution.

This is beyond contempt.

Assange Expelled from Embassy and Arrested

The British charges are for jumping bail, which is not in dispute, he spent 7 years in the Ecuadoran embassy avoiding an extradition hearing.

However, the US government also has an extradition request, claiming conspiracy to hack (but not actual hacking of) government servers.

According to the indictment filed by the Department of Justice this consisted of: (See also this tweet storm)

  • Receiving leaked documents from Manning.
  • Using encrypted communications.
  • Deleting logs to protect Manning’s identity.
  • Encouraging Manning to dig up more documents.

It looks increasingly like the jailing of Chelsea Manning is an attempt to get her to testify (lie) that Assange engaged in a specific conspiracy with her to hack government computers.

Assange is a complete asshole.

He is also a biased* journalist, thought it is understandable:   while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton called for his apprehension and/or murder.

But he is still a journalist, and what he is being prosecuted for is classic journalism.

Here are links from from Craig Murray, Matt Taibbi, Just Security, and The Intercept.

Murray is a SitRep on Assange, and the other 3 are on the potential 1st amendment issues, which are legion.

My guess is that the Poodles in the UK will extradite Assange, and he will be convicted at a trial where he won’t have meaningful access to the evidence against him, and the judge will disallow any arguments that his actions were journalistic in nature.

Also, he will be tortured through prolonged solitary confinement while in custody.

*Kind of understandable though, since many avatars of conventional political and foreign policy wisdom were calling for his assassination.

Yemen War Powers Resolution Passes House

Trump has strongly opposed this, so a veto is likely, but the War Powers Act resolution requiring a US withdrawal from Yemen is the proverbial big f%$#ing deal:

The effort was a top priority for House Democrats after they took control in January amid a worsening humanitarian crisis on the ground in Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels have sought to overthrow the country’s government, prompting a Saudi bombing campaign that has lasted nearly four years.

It also reflects broad dissatisfaction on Capitol Hill with Trump’s foreign policy — in particular, his posture toward Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The president will have to face the reality that Congress is no longer going to ignore its constitutional obligations when it comes to foreign policy,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The situation in Yemen is appalling, and the actions, politics, and ideology of our erstwhile ally, the House of Saud, is even more appalling.

Our continued support for the maniacs in Riyadh serves no one but a handful of psychopathic royals.

The UN Plans to Set up a Concentration Camp for Rohingya

This sort of sh%$ is why am not a fan of civil society groups.

Between their providing sanctuary for genocidal maniacs in Rwanda, and their agreeing to staff Serbian detention camps in Kosovo, I’ve never been impressed.

I understand the need to provide aid, if you aren’t, then you have no job, but not when it makes you complicit in ethnic cleansing.

I understant the conflict inherent in their role: If they don’t supply aid, they don’t have a job, but the UN proposal to basically maroon Rohingya refugees on a barren and flood prone island int he Bay of Bengal is simply indefensible:

Human rights groups have reacted with horror to reports of United Nations draft plans to help relocate thousands of Rohingya refugees from Bangladeshi camps to a barren, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.

A document drawn up this month by the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN’s food aid arm, and seen by Reuters, has revealed how the agency supplied the Bangladeshi government with detailed plans of how it could provide for thousands of Rohingya being transported to the island on a voluntary basis.

Dhaka has long insisted that it is unable cope with the dramatic influx of refugees to camps in Cox’s Bazar since a brutal crackdown by the Burmese military in August 2017, said by UN investigators to have been conducted with “genocidal intent”, prompted some 730,000 Rohingya to flee their homes.

Relocation to the uninhabited, remote island of Bhasan Char has been touted as a solution to chronic overcrowding. But many Rohingya are fearful to go and human rights experts warn that the move to an island made of silt and vulnerable to frequent cyclones could spark another crisis.

The revelation of draft WFP plans, including a timeline and a budget for how the agency and its partners “may facilitate the identification, staging, forward movement, reception, and sustainment of refugees” on Bhasan Char, was met with outrage on Monday.

“What the hell is the WFP thinking? Bangladesh’s plan to move Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char looks like a human rights and humanitarian disaster in the making so UN agencies should be talking about how to stop this ill-considered scheme, not facilitate it,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

This is being complicit in the Myanmar genocide of the Rohingya.

It Would Be Nice to See this Validated in the Courts

In what is an extremely rare rebuke, the House of Representatives voted to invoke the War Powers Act to prevent further aid to the House of Saud’s brutal war in Yemen.

It’s good policy, and good politics:  The actions in Yemen are indefensible, and it shows  Trump’s pretense of opposition to foreign wars to be false.

While I do not expect this to go very far in the Senate, it does a good job of jamming Trump and the Republican Party up.

Well played.

Sympathy for the Chocolatier

Nestle, the company that has pushed baby formula on the poor all over the world, resulting in malnutrition and death from tainted water, is now saying that it’s just too damn hard to keep track of slave labor:

One of the world’s largest food and drink companies has warned proposed legislation requiring big business to report on their efforts to combat modern slavery could hit consumers’ hip pockets.

Companies operating in Australia with an annual turnover of $100 million or more would be required to annually report on the risks of modern slavery within their business and the actions they’ve taken to address those risks under the federal government’s draft Modern Slavery Bill 2018.

The reports would have to cover issues related to human trafficking, slavery, sexual servitude and child labour within businesses’ operations and supply chains.

Nestle, owner of more than 2000 brands in 189 countries, has told a senate committee that Australia’s proposed mandatory reporting requirements could add “cost and time” to businesses and suppliers “which will need to be borne somewhere”.

Capitalism at its finest.

The Last Time We Did This, We Created Al Qaeda

If this sounds familiar, this is exactly the same policy promulgated by Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski when they decided to foment a civil war in Afghanistan, which directly led to the formation of Al Qaeda, and indirectly to the 9/11 attacks:

As the Syrian tragedy lurches toward a bloody final showdown in Idlib province, the Trump administration is struggling to check Russia and the Assad regime from an assault there that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres warns would be a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

The administration’s efforts are so late in coming, and so limited, it’s hard to muster much hope they can reverse seven years of American failure. But at least the administration has stopped the dithering and indecision of the past 18 months and signaled that the United States has enduring interests in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria anytime soon.

Right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want,” says one administration official, explaining the effort to resist an Idlib onslaught. This approach involves reassuring the three key U.S. allies on Syria’s border — Israel, Turkey and Jordan — of continued American involvement.

(emphasis mine)

Note that the author of this piece, David Ignatius has been a tool of the CIA for his entire career, and the US state security apparatus in general, and the CIA in particular, has been agitating for regime change since the start of unrest in Syria, and they are unwilling to let it go.

Once again, I return to this quote about the intelligence establishment:

It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.

Limitless Corruption on Both Sides of the Aisle

New documents show that notwithstanding her claims to the contrary, Gina Haspel directly supervised waterboarding at a Thailand black site:

In late November 2002, C.I.A. interrogators at a secret prison in Thailand warned a Qaeda suspect that he had to “suffer the consequences of his deception.”

As interrogators splashed water on the chest of the man, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, he pleaded that he was trying to recall more information, according to a newly released C.I.A. cable. As he cried, the cable reports, the “water treatment was applied.”

The “water treatment” was bureaucratic jargon for waterboarding, and 11 newly released top-secret cables from the time that Gina Haspel, now the C.I.A. director, oversaw the base provide at times graphic detail on the techniques the agency used to brutally interrogate Qaeda captives. Agency leaders and officers were racing to uncover what they feared were large-scale plots against the United States in the chaotic months and years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

As the chief of the base, Ms. Haspel would have written or authorized the cables, according to Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, a research organization at George Washington University. The cables, obtained by the archive in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, were redacted to eliminate the names of interrogators and C.I.A. officers involved.

ProPublica previously reported on cables from the Thailand black site, which also offered details of the C.I.A.’s methods. Like those documents, the new cables describe the waterboarding of Mr. Nashiri as well as the use of other torture techniques.
………

But the interrogators appear to have ultimately concluded that Mr. Nashiri was not lying. Some of the cables back to headquarters, apparently written by Ms. Haspel, described him as “compliant and cooperative,” according to the 2014 report on the interrogation program by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Officials at C.I.A. headquarters were displeased by such comments, directing the field officers to stop making such “sweeping statements” about Mr. Nashiri’s compliance. The superiors in Langley, Va., insisted that he knew more than he was saying.

Ms. Haspel arrived to oversee the Thailand black site in late October 2002. The site was shut weeks later, on Dec. 4, 2002.

Needless to say, it is now clear that the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman and ranking member, Richard Burr and Mark Warner, knew it and aided in the coverup, because they clearly had access to these documents, and either refused to look at them or actively suppressed them.

Not a Surprise

What a surprise.

America’s international butt-boy, the UK, was hip deep in the US torture program:

British intelligence agencies were involved in the torture and kidnap of terrorism suspects after 9/11, according to two reports by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee.

The reports published on Thursday amount to one of the most damning indictments of UK intelligence, revealing links to torture and rendition were much more widespread than previously reported.

While there was no evidence of officers directly carrying out physical mistreatment of detainees, the reports say the overseas agency MI6 and the domestic service MI5 were involved in hundreds of torture cases and scores of rendition cases.

The committee says the agencies were aware “at an early point” of the mistreatment of detainees by the US and others. There were two cases in which UK personnel were “party to mistreatment administered by others”. One has been investigated by the Metropolitan police but the other is still to be fully investigated. 

……

The report dealing with the treatment of detainees details a litany of cases of concern, saying: “We have found 13 incidents where UK personnel witnessed at first hand a detainee being mistreated by others, 25 where UK personnel were told by detainees that they had been mistreated by others and 128 incidents recorded where agency officers were told by foreign liaison services about instances of mistreatment. In some cases, these were correctly investigated but this was not consistent.”
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It said in 232 cases UK personnel continued to supply questions or intelligence to other services despite knowledge or suspicion of mistreatment, as well as “198 cases where UK personnel received intelligence from liaison services which had been obtained from detainees who knew they had been mistreated – or with no indication as to how the detainee had been treated but where we consider they should have suspected mistreatment”.

It would be nice if Jack Straw ends up in the dock over this.

It would be nicer if Tony Blair did.

6 Democrats Who Should Never Get Your Votes Ever Again

They are Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Joe Donnelly (IN), Bill Nelson (FL), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Warner (VA).

Simply put, they just voted to appoint admitted torturer Gina Haspel as head of the CIA, and this is a direct endorsement of torture, and they know it.

This is not about politics.  This is about right and wrong, and they have morally disqualified themselves from any position of authority.

This is an affront to basic human decency:

What’s a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump’s pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush.

Her role in destroying the CIA’s damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her the perfect spy boss for Trump, the President for whom force, secrecy, and lies are solutions to every problem.

Let me reiterate:  Trump does not matter here.  This isn’t about Donald Trump, or the Republican Party, or the Easter Bunny.

This is about torture, and this is about rewarding torturers, which these 6 Senators just did.

Note that this was not an empty gesture.  Their votes were crucial to her approval:

Lawmakers approved Haspel’s nomination 54 to 45, with six Democrats voting yes and two Republicans voting no, after the agency launched an unprecedented public relations campaign to bolster Haspel’s chances. She appears to have been helped, too, by some last-minute arm-twisting by former CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta, who contacted at least five of the six Democrats to endorse her bid to join President Trump’s Cabinet, according to people with knowledge of the interactions.

Do the math.  If they had all voted against the torturer, it would have been 48 to 51, if just 5 of them had voted against the torturer, Haspel would still had been rejected by 1 vote.

There is a special place in hell for these cowards.

Spelunking Helmet, the Official Hat of Congressional Democrats

It turns out there is low level of moral depravity that conservative Democrats will affirm out of abject cowardice.

It is also a losing proposition in the long run, when Democrats refuse to stand up for the basic standards, their voters know that they will refuse to stand up for them:

The Senate appears to be moving full speed ahead on confirming Gina Haspel as director of the CIA.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to advance her nomination to the floor during a closed business meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, and a Saturday morning announcement by Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly further reduced the suspense.

“I believe that she has learned from the past, and that the CIA under her leadership can help our country confront serious international threats and challenges,” Donnelly said in a statement. “Importantly, Ms. Haspel expressed to me her commitment to be responsive to congressional oversight and to provide her unvarnished assessment — both to members of Congress and the president.”

Donnelly’s office said the Indiana Democrat met Thursday with Haspel, the current acting director of the CIA.

The same night, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Penceappeared together Indiana at a rally in support of Donnelly’s Republican challenger Mike Braun.

During the event, Trump and Pence criticized Donnelly for his voting record, while also pushing him to support the CIA nominee. In his statement, the senator said the support Haspel has received from the intelligence community was an important factor in his decision.

The people in the intelligence community who are supporting her are covering their own asses.

Either they were complicit in torture, or they are interested in sucking up to a woman who they see as being the next head of the CIA, and either their boss, or their client.

The ultimate fault lies with Barack Obama, who should have prosecuted torturers, but instead retained and promoted them.

There is Bad, Really Bad, and ………

It’s Gina Haspel wot done it. Between her torture, her aggressive support of torture, and her oleaginous performance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, it was too much for the WaPo editorial board.

I would note that Fred Hiatt’s merry band of psychopaths, cheered the invasion of Iraq, destroying Libya, the Whitewater investigation, Bush’s purge of US attorneys, privatizing social security, supporting Trump’s border wall even as they called it stupid, privatizing education, and letting Richard Cohen near a typewriter.

I had though that there was no limit to their stupid, but Gina Haspel is just a bridge too far for them:

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, faced a clear test when she appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. After a 33-year career at the agency, she may be, in many respects, the most qualified person ever nominated to the post, as one Republican senator contended. But she has a dark chapter in her past: her supervision of a secret prison in Thailand where al-Qaeda suspects were tortured, and her subsequent involvement in the destruction of videotapes of that shameful episode.

As Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, made clear from the outset, Ms. Haspel needs to clearly repudiate that record. She must confirm that techniques such as waterboarding — now banned by law — were and are unacceptable, and she must make clear that she will never again accept orders to carry out acts that so clearly violate American moral standards, even if they are ordered by the president and certified by administration lawyers as legal.

Ms. Haspel did not meet that test. She volunteered that the CIA would not on her watch engage in enhanced interrogations; she said she supported the “stricter moral standard” the country had adopted after debating the interrogation program. Pressed by Mr. Warner and several other senators, she eventually said she “would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal.” What she would not say was that the torture she oversaw was immoral, or that it should not have been done, or that she regretted her own role in it — which, according to senators, included advocating for the program internally.

That ambiguity matters at a time when the United States is led by a president who has cheered for torture, who lacks respect for the rule of law and who demands absolute loyalty from his aides. Unfortunately, it makes it impossible for us, and others for whom the repudiation of torture is a priority, to support Ms. Haspel’s nomination.

The Post‘s editorial page is the 2nd most likely to be contradicted on the facts (a close race that the bat sh%$ insane Wall Street Journal editorial board won), but Gina Haspel is too much for them.

Honestly, I did not think that this was possible.

It looks like Gina Haspel is looking to drop out from her nomination as head of the CIA, because she finds it embarrassing that she is a torturer:

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to become the next CIA director, sought to withdraw her nomination Friday after some White House officials worried that her role in the interrogation of terrorist suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, according to four senior U.S. officials.

Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the CIA’s reputation and her own, the officials said. She was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting on her history in the CIA’s controversial interrogation program — which employed techniques such as waterboarding that are widely seen as torture — and signaled that she was going to withdraw her nomination. She then returned to CIA headquarters, the officials said.

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to Langley, Va., to meet with Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon. Discussions stretched several hours, officials said, and the White House was not entirely sure she would stick with her nomination until Saturday afternoon, according to the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

My guess is that someone on the Senate Intelligence Committee is requesting some highly more documents from the CIA about her record, and she is freaking out.

I’m not sure if I want to see her withdraw, or I want to see her crucified at a confirmation hearing, but both are a positive outcome.

Gina Haspel Will Fit Right In

You hear about the CIA’s “MK Ultra” program around the fever swamps of conspiracy theorists, but it actually did exist, and it turns out that it was worse than I could have imagined.

The CIA tortured mental patients in the 1960s under this program:

In the 1950s and 60s, a Montreal hospital subjected psychiatric patients to electroshocks, drug-induced sleep and huge doses of LSD. Families are still grappling with the effects

Sarah Anne Johnson had always known the broad strokes of her maternal grandmother’s story. In 1956, Velma Orlikow checked herself into a renowned Canadian psychiatric hospital, the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, hoping for help with postpartum depression.

She was in and out of the clinic for three years, but instead of improving, her condition deteriorated – and her personality underwent jarring changes.

More than two decades passed before Johnson and her family had an explanation, and it was much stranger than any of them could imagine: in 1977 it emerged that the CIA had been funding experiments in mind-control brainwashing at the institute as part of a North America-wide project known as MK Ultra.

At the time, the US agency was scrambling to deepen its understanding of brainwashing, after a handful of Americans captured during the Korean war had publicly praised communism and denounced the US.

In 1957, this interest brought the agency north of the border, where a Scottish-born psychiatrist, Ewen Cameron, was trying to discover whether doctors could erase a person’s mind and instill new patterns of behaviour.

Orlikow was one of several hundred patients who became unwitting subjects of these experiments in Montreal in the late 1950s and early 60s.

if you are not truly horrified by this, miy might have a future at Langley.

Not Just a Torturer; Torturer in Chief

Long before Donald Trump ever nominated Gina Haspel to run the CIA, a memoir from a former CIA top attorney contained a line with the power to do serious damage to her chances.

Haspel’s informal nomination ran into immediate jeopardy last month over her 2002 supervision of the agency’s first secret black-site prison, located in Thailand, where two early detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, were tortured. (She directly ran the black site, though after Zubaydah’s most intense period of torture that year.)

But in his 2014 book, John Rizzo, a longtime senior CIA lawyer, indicated that Haspel was responsible for the incommunicado detention and torture not of two men, but of dozens, potentially. Former intelligence officials interviewed by The Daily Beast have portrayed Haspel’s experience similarly.

………

“Jose installed as his chief of staff an officer from the Counterterrorist Center who had previously run the interrogation program,” Rizzo wrote.

That’s a substantially broader declaration than the history already dogging Haspel, the agency’s deputy director, whom the White House formally nominated as its next CIA director late on Tuesday.

………

Rizzo, who was acting CIA general counsel during much of the time the torture program occurred, insisted that the passage was correct then—and is still right today.

“All I can say is that I stand by everything I wrote in my book about the tapes episode, and no one from the Agency has asked me to correct anything I wrote,” Rizzo told The Daily Beast. He did not answer follow-up questions.

………

This isn’t the first time that legacy has been a problem for Haspel. In 2013, she was unable to take her old boss Rodriguez’s position in 2013. At the time, a knowledgeable former CIA official recalled, there was confusion and surprise that someone with Haspel’s background in torture could have been a credible candidate for such a senior position.

“To the best of my understanding, she ran the interrogation program,” the official said.

“Her becoming director absolutely terrifies me,” continued the former CIA official. “Once I heard her name, I immediately thought, ‘Oh, God.’”

Back then, in a story first reported by The New York Times, Feinstein—then the Senate committee chair—made it clear to then-director John Brennan that she objected to Haspel leading the CIA’s clandestine service. Brennan chose another chief.

It should be noted that Brennan was a big fan of torture and the torturers, and Obama eventually made him head of the CIA.

So much for looking forward, and not back.

“If Ms. Haspel is confirmed, it will send a terrible message to the world broadly, and to the officers of the CIA more superficially,” a former U.S. intelligence official said. “The CIA, and its former officers, are pushing so hard for Ms. Haspel to be director because if she’s confirmed, it essentially exonerates her, the CIA and all of these former senior CIA officials from their involvement in or their defense of the torture program.”

And this final paragraph is why Congress should NEVER approve her as head of the CIA.

Even if the statute or limitations has expired, these are people who did profound and enduring damage to the United States, and they should never EVER hold any sort of clearance ever again, much less become the head of the agency.

Not a Surprise

If you are a proud war criminal, it follows that you will aggressively advocate for the coverup as well:

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA staunchly advocated for the destruction of videotapes showing detainees being tortured and obtained the legal opinions that were used to justify their destruction, a BuzzFeed News review of records and published accounts shows.

That version of Gina Haspel’s role in destroying the tapes contradicts the narrative being pressed by CIA officials that Haspel was only following orders when she helped engineer the tapes’ destruction and that she has served the agency well for 33 years, almost all as a clandestine officer.

The narrative is intended to help build support for Haspel, who in the early 2000s was chief of staff to Jose Rodriguez when he ran the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and authorized the tapes’ destruction. She’s now the CIA’s deputy director.

What Haspel did in the lead-up to that destruction is likely to be a major point of contention as the Senate considers her nomination. At least four senators, including Republican Rand Paul, have said they will oppose her confirmation because of her role with the tapes and in the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation program.

“The destruction is a high concern for me,” Sen. Angus King told BuzzFeed News. King, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said Haspel’s involvement with the tapes concerns him more than her role in harsh interrogations because, while harsh interrogations had been approved, the destruction of the tapes went against senior officials’ wishes.

Those officials included the White House counsel to President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales; his successor, Harriet Miers; Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, CIA Director Porter Goss and CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo — whose objections, Rodriguez wrote in a memoir, he was well aware of.

Haspel and Rodriguez “were the staunchest advocates inside the [CIA] building for destroying the tapes,” Rizzo wrote in his 2014 memoir, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA. “On the edges of meetings on other subjects, in the hallways, they would raise the subject almost every week.”

Seriously, Haspel might be the most morally bankrupt individual to be considered to head the CIA since Allen Dulles.

Hell, she might be the most morally bankrupt person to be considered to head a major intelligence organization since Lavrentiy Beria.