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: CIA Program
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.
Document: Cables Describe Use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques at Thailand Black Site Overseen by Haspel
Sixteen declassified cables were released on Friday that detail the enhanced interrogation techniques used at a CIA black site in Thailand during the time it was overseen by CIA director Gina Haspel in 2002. The cables focus on the interrogation of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national who is accused of planning the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole; they describe the use of interrogation techniques including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and wall-slamming. The cables were obtained through a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive.
Note: The author is a member of Abu Zubaydah’s legal team. Joseph Margulies, Mark Denbeaux and Helen Duffy, who also represent Abu Zubaydah, have contributed to this article.
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.