Cables reveal the extent of CIA director Gina Haspel's oversight role in water-boarding and torture. Another victory for anti-democratic values out of the US.

This article from the New York Times provides more detail on the activities of the dreadful Gina Haspel. For her confirmation hearings this spring, Haspel claimed (a) that CIA torture techniques revealed "valuable" information about threats to national security but that (b) nevertheless they should not have been used and (c) that, in any event, she was not personally involved. The cables in this report reveal that the use of torture did not in fact reveal either new or important sources of information. They also reveal that Haspel was directly involved. As the article states...."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." 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.

As she was trying to win Congressional confirmation as C.I.A. director this spring, Ms. Haspel claimed the torture techniques yielded valuable intelligence but disavowed them. During his campaign, President Trump flirted with the idea of reviving waterboarding — insisting that “torture works” — and has never denounced the harsh techniques used by the C.I.A.

The release of the top-secret cables details the case of an al Qaeda operative Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri being held at Guantanamo. He has still not been charged let alone convicted. Mr. Nashiri’s former lawyer, Richard Kammen, said that his client was brutally tortured by the C.I.A. and that he hopes the truth comes out before Mr. Nashiri goes on trial. “Ultimately, the public will be horrified by the level of brutality employed by the C.I.A.,” Mr. Kammen said.

The article continues..."In the late November session, after Mr. Nashiri was waterboarded several times, the interrogators said they were willing to deliver the same treatment for months until he cooperated. When they were finished, Mr. Nashiri crawled into “the small box” in which he was confined.

The interrogators continually told Mr. Nashiri they did not believe he was telling everything he knew, threatening him with worse treatment if he did not tell them more. The prisoner, already subjected to the whole array of C.I.A. torture techniques — loud noise, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, wall-slamming and waterboarding — insisted he was trying to remember and tell them everything.

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."

How does someone like Haspel, who is so blatantly compromised and obviously lying, win the trust of the US Congress? Unless, of course, Congress itself is utterly compromised and really couldn't give a damn. 

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The appointment of Haspel is the logical conclusion for an organisation that ignores democratic values wherever it goes.