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Torture overseer appointed as CIA director

Gina Haspel, a veteran of the CIA’s black sites in the post 9/11 period, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the CIA’s new top official.

From the BBC (“Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA’s first female director“):

Gina Haspel’s confirmation in a 54-45 vote follows a partisan fight among senators about the CIA’s Bush-era use of techniques such as waterboarding.

Ms Haspel, a CIA veteran, once oversaw a so-called black site in Thailand after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The former CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, left to become US Secretary of State.

Republican Senator John McCain – who was tortured during his more than five years in a Vietnamese prison – had earlier announced his opposition to US President Donald Trump’s nominee.

On Thursday, six Democrats crossed party lines to vote in her favour. …

In 2002, she was selected by the agency to run a “black site” in Thailand where harsh interrogation techniques were used that a Senate report deemed to be torture.

One suspect that was brought there, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was brutalised using methods that were later banned by President Barack Obama.

Al-Nashiri, who was interrogated after Ms Haspel took over the post, was also subjected to sleep deprivation, nudity, extreme temperatures, being held in a small box, and “walling” (being slammed repeatedly into a wall).

Three years later, Ms Haspel ordered the destruction of 92 video tapes that documented the interrogation of him, and Abu Zubaydah, who was also held at the Thai location.

At least 119 men were tortured by the US in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, according to a 2014 Senate report.

Human rights groups say Ms Haspel left Thailand to oversee further US torture, but it is unclear what role she played as her exact record has been classified by the CIA.

Mr Trump has previously called for the US to resume waterboarding terrorism suspects.

Thu, May 17 2018 » * Big Picture Stuff, Main Page

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