Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick who refused to call torture immoral, was confirmed Thursday with the help of several spineless Democrats who voted in favor of Haspel’s becoming the first female director of the CIA.
I shouldn’t call the six Democrats who voted for Haspel spineless, since many would argue that they are morally corrupt. Nevertheless, despite Haspel’s contentious Senate Intelligence confirmation process and her inability to state her stance on the torture used on her watch at the CIA during George W. Bush’s administration, Haspel was confirmed 54-45.
According to CNN, three Republicans—Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona (although McCain did not vote because he’s battling brain cancer at home)—found the Democrats’ misplaced moral fortitude in order to oppose Haspel’s nomination.
It didn’t matter, though, because Haspel had enough votes to win the nomination, including that of Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
CNN notes that those Democrats who voted in favor of Haspel are up for re-election in November in states that Trump won in 2016, “including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida.”
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire also voted in favor of Haspel’s confirmation.
Said Warner on his support for Haspel: “Gina Haspel is among one of the most qualified people to be nominated to be director of the CIA. I feel safer knowing the CIA has Miss Haspel at the helm. ... I believe Gina Haspel should be confirmed. I look forward to supporting her.”
Man, is it just me or was Warner pouring it on really thick? I mean, let’s be clear here: Haspel is a good soldier, but she’s a soldier nonetheless. She proved during her confirmation hearing that she won’t oppose orders that she finds morally reprehensible because she wouldn’t even state that what she believed was, in fact, morally reprehensible.
Surely Warner could’ve given a “Haspel was a great pick, I’m sure she’ll do a fine job” response and kept it moving, but all the “I feel safer ... ” bullshit reads like he’s unaware of the role that Haspel played in allowing waterboarding under her command. Not to mention her role in destroying all the video evidence of same.
Here’s how CNN recounts the Haspel whom Warner so loves:
Haspel faced a barrage of criticism from some Democrats and human rights groups after she was picked in March to succeed Mike Pompeo as the nation’s top spy, over her role in the George W. Bush administration’s detention and interrogation program.
The criticism came on two fronts: Haspel ran a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where detainees were brutally interrogated with tactics that critics say is torture. And she drafted the cable that her boss sent to destroy dozens of CIA interrogation tapes in 2005.
Trump, who’s said that he believes waterboarding isn’t tough enough, must be dancing on his Oval Office desk tonight knowing that the world just put a real thug in charge of the CIA. Nice work, America.