CIA Gina Haspel — The Director in Her Labyrinth

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott

“When it comes to bullying, Gina Haspel is the real deal, and The Donald is a pussycat by comparison. Whom has he ever waterboarded? Haspel has done that and a lot worse. (…) They call her “Bloody Gina,” and for some of her buddies in the torture wing of the CIA and their supporters in Congress, that is meant as a compliment.”

Robert Scheer — Editor in chief of Truthdig

“The use of torture compromised our values, stained our national honor, and threatened our historical reputation.”

US Senator John McCain

Surely, Mrs Haspel could have saved herself seriously embarrassing moments if she had stuck to her initial decision to withdraw her nomination as CIA Director. Her refusal to answer critical questions speaks volumes. Haspel also clearly lied to the senators about the infamous 92 videotapes. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee — John McCain to US Senate: “Reject Gina Haspel”

RELATED POST: Former CIA officer Ray McGovern Forcibly Removed from CIA Haspel Senate Hearing

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee — Gina Haspel Career Timeline

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee — Gina Haspel and the ‘Black Site’ in Thailand (UPDATE : Udon Thani Site Officially Identified)

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel — Agency Spin Doctors Working Round-The-Clock (UPDATE: WashPost Open Letter)

In 2002, Gina Haspel ran a CIA “black site” prison at Udon Thani, Thailand. While she was the Chief of Station, at least one detainee was tortured.

A few years later, Haspel helped in the destruction of 92 video tapes depicting some of these gruesome interrogations — despite federal court orders requiring their preservation, and over the objections of congressional leaders, the Directors of National Intelligence and the CIA, two White House counsels, and the Department of Justice.

Speaking to Senator Feinstein during the May 9 confirmation hearing, Haspel said:

“The tapes were recording of only ONE detainee. It was 92 tapes of ONE detainee.”

This is simply a lie.

According to CIA records — including a declaration under oath from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta — the 92 destroyed tapes depicted abuse of two detainees: Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The records clearly indicate 90 tapes of Zubaydah and 2 tapes of Nashiri.

And of course, Haspel knows full well about the two tapes of Nashiri since these were recorded under her watch as COS in Thailand.

 

PS: The November 10 2005 CIA email

Haspel also testified that the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of CIA officers and that she does not appear on the tapes.

It is however documented that the tapes were destroyed to protect the ‘image’ of the agency. As a senator suggested to Haspel, protecting the identity of a CIA officer did not require the destruction of the tapes. The faces can easily be blacked out with digital technology. (Haspel answered that she knows little about technology!)

Haspel also stated that she does not appear on these tapes. A partially redacted CIA email appears to contradict her statement.

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel — CIA Nomination Hanging By A Thread Over Cable

Based on the overall context and an analysis of the missing (redacted) number of characters, I have suggested that a key part of this text reads:

“Cable was apparently drafted by Gina and released by Jose; they are only two names on it, so I am told by Rizzo.

Either Gina lied to Jose about ‘clearing’ with xxxxxx and IG (my bet) or Jose misstated the facts.

(It is not without relevance that Gina figured prominently in the tapes as she was in charge of xxxxxxx at the time and clearly would want the tapes destroyed.)

Rizzo Is clearly upset, because he was on the hook to notify Harslet Mier’s of the status of the tapes because it was she who had asked to be advised before any action was taken.

Apparently, Rizzo called Harriet this afternoon and she was livid which he said was actually unusual for her.

Rizzo does not think this is likely to just go away.”

Senator Feinstein Grills Gina Haspel at CIA Senate confirmation hearing

REFERENCES

Trump’s Shameful Choice of ‘Bloody Gina’  — Truthdig

What Gina Haspel Got Wrong About the Torture Tapes She Helped Destroy — ACLU

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CIA Gina Haspel — The Director in Her Labyrinth

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