Gina Haspel to Head CIA: A Torture Queen for a Torture Empire

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


On May 17, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. CIA.

In 2002, under President George Bush, Haspel ran the first CIA “black site”—one of about 100 prisons around the world dedicated to “disappearing” and torturing “suspects” in the “War on Terror.” In secret windowless cells, with no contact with loved ones or the outside world, terrified detainees were slammed face-first into walls by masked guards, then were strapped down and had water poured into their mouths and noses, drowned to the edge of death, revived, and then drowned again... and again... and again. At one of these sites a visibly pregnant “suspect” was punched repeatedly in her belly. At these sites suspects were forced to spend days in coffin-like boxes.

Haspel supervised such tortures, and later, in 2005,  helped cover up these crimes by ordering the destruction of 87 videotapes of torture sessions. (See: “Probable Installation of Torture-Monger Gina Haspel as Head of CIA Will Mean More Open Torture From Ameri卐a”)

After this program was exposed and condemned worldwide, Obama hypocritically “renounced” torture, while praising the dedication of those who carried it out and refusing to punish anyone. And Haspel rose through the ranks—her readiness to torture, lie and destroy evidence was valued because that is what the CIA is about—an instrument of terror that is integral to maintaining American power around the world.

In the Senate hearings, Haspel didn’t even pay lip service to opposing torture on moral grounds and actually bragged about her strong “moral compass.” She insisted that black site interrogations were legal (the same defense used by Nazi perpetrators of genocide during World War 2); and strongly implied that they were “effective”—and therefore justifiable.

Her only criticism of the program was that “it did damage to our officers and our standing in the world.” [Emphasis ours] In other words: “torturing hundreds of people—no problem! But the damage to the reputation of the U.S. and the torture agents—that’s the problem!”

Haspel’s strong “moral compass” all but guarantees that she will implement whatever horrors are ordered by Trump, who enthusiastically praises torture and says that families of suspected U.S. enemies should be killed.

Haspel had powerful support from former intelligence officials—including some who are anti-Trump—because they know that this is a key part of what these agencies do. And she was supported by six Democratic senators, including liberal mainstay Mark Warner of Virginia, who had made a big show of questioning Haspel’s record in the hearings.

These ruling class forces have their differences with Trump—even sharp ones. But torture is not “a deal breaker” to them. What matters to them is maintaining the internal stability and world domination of the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism. And Gina Haspel has proven her readiness to do “whatever it takes” in service to that empire—making her a worthy candidate in the eyes of her fellow monsters.


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