Trump: Nominee For CIA Director is Taking Fire Because She Was ‘Too Tough on Terrorists’
President Donald Trump defended Gina Haspel — his nominee for CIA director who has faced headwinds in her nomination process because of her ties to the CIA’s torture program — on Twitter Monday morning.
Haspel, who has been at the CIA for more than three decades, faces a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday that’s shaping up to be a tough ride for the career agent. Haspel ran a “black site” in Thailand, at a time when the U.S. enhanced interrogation program included waterboarding and other torture practices for terror suspects.
The Washington Post reported that on Friday, Haspel sought to withdraw her nomination for CIA director, fearing she would face the same fate — a blow to her reputation — that former VA secretary nominee Ronny Jackson did.
“My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists,” Trump tweeted, before adding a splash of identity politics: “Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror.”
“Win Gina!” he added.
My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Trump’s apparent defense of torture came shortly after his favorite morning show Fox & Friends covered Haspel’s struggles in her nomination process.
WH steps up efforts to confirm CIA nominee Gina Haspel just days before confirmation hearings begin pic.twitter.com/3zUAjz3wWT
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 7, 2018
Unlike fictional TV shows, like 24 where Jack Bauer runs around and tortures his way to the bad guy or movies like Zero Dark Thirty who include torture scenes that never happened which lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, reality is quite different.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” There was no proof, according to the 6,700 page report, that information obtained through waterboarding prevented any attacks or saved any lives, or that information obtained from the detainees was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.”
In-fact, we’ve know for centuries that torture is not effective. Here is Napoleon’s own words on the subject:
“It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know.”
Instead, rapport-building techniques are 14 times more effective in extracting information than torture and has the upside of not being unethical.