Rand Paul Will Do 'Whatever It Takes' To Block Trump Nominees

19 March, 2018, 00:23 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Senators want CIA to lift veil on nominee's past supervision of secret prison

Engelberg said after the stories resurfaced, former colleagues of Haspel came out to defend her and that she did not serve as chief of the base until late 2002 after the conclusion of Zubaydah's waterboarding.

"I'll do whatever it takes, and that includes filibuster" to block CIA director Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state, and Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the CIA, Paul said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tapper. The former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee is demanding a complete accounting of Haspel's involvement in the rendition program and tape destruction, but won't get it.

In a country where a CIA official like Haspel can destroy evidence in order to obstruct a federal investigation, and not only escape prosecution but rise to become the head of the agency, it is no wonder that the president and his allies behave as though the possibility of the law catching up to them is not merely remote, but a kind of absurdity.

But the interrogators made a decision to start with the toughest method - waterboarding. For much of its existence, Haspel was deputy director of the CIA's counterterrorism center that ran the program using "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Haspel's nomination has drawn bipartisan concerns, with senators on both sides of the aisle calling for a complete picture.

A simple Senate majority is needed to confirm either Pompeo or Haspel, but Republicans only have 51 seats at the moment.

Sen. Rand Paul speaks out against the nomination of Gina Haspel. John McCain, R-Ariz., have voiced strong reservations.


Haspel was named deputy Central Intelligence Agency director in February 2017, prompting the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights to ask German prosecutors to issue a warrant for her arrest because of her role in the interrogations, which puts her at risk of being arrested when she travels overseas. On Wednesday, Paul condemned the pick. "Everybody knew that torture didn't work". Besides waterboarding, other techniques included "wallings", or slamming subjects against a wall, slaps, sleep deprivation and nudity, according to the Washington Post. Instead of re-litigating the past, he said Haspel should be asked about Russia, China and cyber threats and how to improve intelligence collection on America's adversaries. "You're not respecting the intrinsic dignity of the person".

Meanwhile, Haspel has bigger problems than Al Qaeda-including, of course, Russia's past and present programs to subvert US elections, a topic anathema to Trump. "I believe in journalistic practice, this a 'never event.' This should never happen".

Haspel's upcoming confirmation hearing will be laser-focused on the time she spent supervising a secret prison in Thailand. "Regardless of the retraction of one anecdote, the fact remains that Gina Haspel was instrumental in running a place where people were tortured", the spokesman said. "Torture has to be prosecuted everywhere in the world". Only after the Bush administration tried to argue that waterboarding was "enhanced interrogation", and not torture banned by USA and global law, did a domestic debate arise. Information gained under torture often is fabricated, for obvious reasons.

"We are not a people that should be so fearful or so vengeful that we think that torture is somehow acceptable".

"If an act is wrong in its object, then it can not be justified under any set of circumstances", he said. Torture stopped no attacks, and saved no lives.

"An act that is wrong in its object can not be justified by any intention or set of circumstances".

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