The CIA is in a nasty business. If you can't deal with that, you shouldn't be part of the government

Media trying to harpoon new CIA nominee by labeling her 'controversial'

By —— Bio and Archives--March 14, 2018

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Media trying to harpoon new CIA nominee by labeling her 'controversial'
No one is making a serious case that Gina Haspel is not well-qualified or well-prepared to lead the CIA. She’s got the experience, the credentials and the confidence of the people who will work for her.

But the media don’t like it when the United States does what it has to do to protect its interests against bad actors, at least if that means inflicting any price on said bad actors for threatening to hurt us or for actually doing so. It seems like ancient history now, but in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the nation signaled to the Bush Administration that it was ready to do whatever was necessary to terrorists and their enablers in order to stop future attacks. So the Bush team did so - waterboarding, indefinite detention at Gitmo and diversion to “black sites” where they couldn’t call anyone for help or report what was being done to them.


And that was the whole idea. These are astonishingly evil people who were willing to murder thousands of Americans in a fell swoop of given the opportunity, and they would only give up information if they were absolutely terrified not to do so, or if they couldn’t stand the pain that was being inflicted on them in their silence.

This is nasty business. Because you’re dealing with nasty people with every intention of doing nasty things. If you’re squeamish about it, then battling these people needs to be someone else’s job.

Gina Haspel wasn’t squeamish about it then, and she likely isn’t now either, which is why the media have decided to label her as “controversial,” even though she’s the perfect choice to lead the CIA’s mission. The American people lost their nerve quickly in the War on Terror, even if the Bush Administration never did, and Gina Haspel never did. Will that national knee-buckling being enough to sink Haspel now?

Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by President Donald Trump on Tuesday to head the CIA, is a controversial figure, backed by many in the U.S. intelligence community but regarded warily by some in Congress for her involvement in the agency’s“black site” detention facilities.

Haspel was selected as the agency’s new director after the Republican president fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and chose current CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Haspel would become the first woman to head the CIA, after serving as deputy director since February 2017. Trump told reporters he has worked very closely with Haspel and regards her as“an outstanding person.”

U.S. officials said that while Haspel was generally held in high regard at the CIA, her nomination raised the unwelcome prospect of greater congressional and media scrutiny of officers who are more comfortable in the dark than in the spotlight.

“This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed,” said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

When she was named deputy director last year, intelligence officers who served with her and congressional officials said that in 2002, during Republican former President George W. Bush’s administration, she ran a secret CIA prison in Thailand codenamed“Cat’s Eye.” Two suspected members of the al Qaeda militant group were subjected to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques at the facility.

Three years later, still during Bush’s presidency, she helped carry out an order to destroy videotapes of the waterboarding, which simulates drowning and is considered a form of torture, according to those people.


If she tortured members of Al Qaeda, good. If she destroyed videotapes to keep the likes of Dick Durbin from undermining the entire fight against terrorists for baldly partisan purposes, excellent. She’s just who we need in the job.

Reuters breathlessly reports that Democrats are “concerned.” Good. If Democrats are concerned, it means we’ve got someone who will dispense with the niceties that usually hamper our national security efforts and will order her people to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

I for one am tired of those on the front lines for our country having to apologize for every aggressive move they make in pursuit of an important strategic objective. The world is a dangerous place and we battle dangerous people. We should not commit evil in the process just for the sake of committing evil, but neither should we be dainty about the actions that are necessary to secure information and protect this country.

Gina Haspel is only “controversial” because we no longer have a national consensus to put this nation’s interests first. That’s exactly why she should be confirmed, with no promises to do anything but plow forward in the pursuit of a more secure America by whatever means are necessary.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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