President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA director gives the Senate the opportunity to reclaim and reassert America’s moral standing. Haspel, currently the agency’s deputy director, was directly involved in the CIA’s “black site” prison in Thailand where detainees were tortured in the years immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Her best defense is that she was merely following orders. It has been used before.
The facility in Thailand was where two al-Qaeda suspects were repeatedly tortured. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded at least 83 times and brought nearly to the point of death. He reportedly revealed nothing new after being waterboarded, maybe because he had nothing to reveal. Sorry.
The other detainee was Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. He, too, was waterboarded and, as with Zubaydah, his agony was taped. These tapes made for such tough viewing that some intelligence agents broke down and cried. With the cooperation of Haspel, the tapes were destroyed.