The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program made several critical mistakes that have limited its long-term impact. Here's how it could have been better.
Latest in Interrogation: Abuses
The film might serve as an opportunity for narrowing the partisan divide on the issue of torture and promoting a more thoughtful debate on the moral and strategic issues involved.
The CIA should be held accountable for its mistakes, but it’s important to stick to the facts when doing so.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit allowed prisoners detained at Abu Ghraib to move forward with their lawsuit against a military contractor for abuse at the prison, dismissing the contractor's interlocutory appeal to reverse a district court order denying it derivative sovereign immunity. The judges held that the case, Al Shimari v. CACI, presented factual disputes best resolved in the district court. The ruling is available here and below.
Abdul-Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar were my clients. Belhaj led a Libyan Islamist group that sought to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi; Boudchar, a Moroccan citizen, is his wife. The CIA abducted them in 2004 with the help of Libya and the United Kingdom. CIA officers roughed them up at a “black site” in Thailand—a year and a half after Gina Haspel, recently confirmed as director of the CIA, had reportedly shut down the Thai site code-named “Cat’s Eye”—and shipped the couple to Gadhafi’s Libya. At the time, Boudchar was heavily pregnant.
On Thursday, the Senate voted to make Gina Haspel the next director of the CIA. I don’t know Haspel myself, but I have no reason to doubt that she is someone with a deep-rooted patriotism and a sense of duty to the officers who work under her. By all accounts, she appears to be a highly effective administrator. Her long career in the CIA makes her well suited to understand the agency and its operations, and having served as acting director, she already knows how to run the CIA day-to-day.
In his Tuesday post in support of Gina Haspel’s nomination to be director of the CIA, Benjamin Wittes wrote about “the insulation that Haspel stands to provide for the agency from a president hostile to the task of intelligence gathering and analysis.” For this and other reasons, Wittes argued, Haspel should be confirmed—even though President Trump has linked her nomination to his “enthusiasm for torture.” He also wrote that “barring revelations about her role” in running a Thailand “black site” at which d
Gina Haspel, the deputy director of the CIA and President Trump’s nominee to head the agency, will testify before the Senate intelligence commitee Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on her nomination.
Haspel's prepared testimony and responses to congressional questions are available here:
Gina Haspel was nominated by Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. That makes a huge difference. Here’s why the Senate should confirm her anyway.
In answers to written questions preceding his confirmation hearing, now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo caused concern by indicating a willingness to revisit rules governing military and intelligence interrogations. Specifically, he said he would “consult with experts at the Agency and at other organizations in the U.S.