President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, made the following statement before the Senate Intelligence Committee:
“Let me say this about myself. After 9/11, I didn’t look to go sit on the Swiss desk. I stepped up. I was not on the sidelines. I was on the front lines in the Cold War and I was on the front lines in the fight against al-Qaeda. I’m very proud of the fact that we captured the perpetrator of 9/11, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. I think we did extraordinary work. To me the tragedy is that the controversy surrounding the interrogation program which I have already indicated to Senator Warner, I fully understand that. But it has cast a shadow over what has been a major contribution to protecting6 this country.
Gina Haspel is a seasoned veteran of the CIA. She has helped protect this country through good times and bad for over 30 years and her nomination to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is supported by agents throughout. Every past director of the CIA alive today, including the partisan John Brennan, support her nomination.
One would think that Democrats would not want to stand in agreement with the very man who succeeded in bringing down the Twin Towers, but there they stand with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Both Democrats and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed believe Gina Haspel is not fit to run the CIA due to her role in overseeing enhanced interrogation techniques that were approved through Congress at the time.
The 9/11 mastermind asked a military judge Monday to share the contents of an attachment titled “Additional Facts, Law and Argument in Support” with the Senate Intelligence Committee. The attachment was written by Mohammad himself and refers to information regarding Gina Haspel.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the one of the subjects of enhanced interrogation techniques and remains in custody at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. To entertain the thought of presenting Mohammed’s account of the interrogations program before the Senate Intelligence Committee is an insult to the American people and an insult to intelligence in general. To imagine that Mohammad could give the slightest bit of objectivity in his account of the program is the epitome of idiocy.
It is true that Haspel played a hand in the enhanced interrogations techniques that were approved by Congress and carried out by the CIA, which included waterboarding. Members of Congress were briefed and subsequently approved the methods that were employed by the CIA, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Many of the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence panel, such as Mark Warner (D-VA), are geared towards finding out if Haspel believes using enhanced interrogation techniques embodied “American values.” Let’s be clear here, Gina Haspel was a subordinate whose job was to follow orders. Gina Haspel’s job was not to distinguish what “American values” were or are. Her job was to follow orders and protect the United States which she did in impeccable fashion. It is the job of the United States Congress to pass laws that embody “American values” and it is Haspel’s job to follow those laws, which she has done and continues to do so to this day.
One would hope that Congress drafts laws that are congruent to “American values.” After 9/11, enhanced interrogations were absolutely embodied in American values since nobody knew when, where, or how the next attack would occur. With the image of the Twin Towers falling still fresh in our minds, Americans welcomed getting answers by any means necessary. We know this because Congress approved of and passed every measure that Gina Haspel oversaw. If Democrats are upset with Haspel’s past duties at the CIA, then why on Earth would they have approved them?
It appears hindsight is 20/20 for these Democrats as they wish to blame Haspel for adhering to standards they helped outline and approved of. In doing so, Democrats stand in opposition to the “American values” they tout so much while standing in agreement with the man responsible for planning the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United States.
American values, or any values for that matter, are guided by the current state of affairs. Values change with the times. What we consider an “American value” today may become taboo in the near future and the waterboarding controversy broadly illustrates this. The one thing that will always remain embedded within “American values” is the United States Constitution and it appears that Gina Haspel has embraced it with her entire being. Democrats are now risking the optics of standing with a terrorist in their petty efforts to thwart yet another President Donald Trump nominee. One thing that has never been a part of “American values” is attempting to shame and smear a qualified individual for nothing more than partisan politics.