For John, BLUF: This is a very important issue, because it is about accountability in our secret services, which in turn reflects on accountability in the Deep State. Nothing to see here; just move along.
This is about the nomination of Ms Gina Haspel to be the next Director of the CIA. She is an Intel Progressional, who has worked her way up to be the Deputy Director (and Acting Director).
From Just Security, by Professor Steve Vladeck, 9 May 2018. Mr Vladeck is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security and Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
Here is the lede:
At Lawfare, Ben Wittes has a long post up titled “Why I Support Gina Haspel—Despite a Big Reservation.” It’s worth reading in full, because it makes about as strong a case as can be made for Haspel’s confirmation for folks who are, to put it precisely, less than enthusiastic about the wisdom, morality, or legality of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program—in which Haspel played a major role. (For those, like President Trump, who see her role in CIA torture as a feature, not a bug, well, that’s another matter.)Yes, this is about the fact that in the wake of the 9/11 Attacks we went with torture to obtain the information we wanted on our enemies. We have since come to the conclusion that it was illegal and immoral to torture people for information. There are those who would argue that it was also ineffective.
The Senate hearing on Ms Haspel begins today.
Part of what this is about is sweeping history under the rug. Another part is if having sinned once, one is forever denied absolution. That is, is atonement possible? The way we are pulling down Civil War statues in this country, one wonders.
Regards — Cliff