Hi there,

The climate crisis, war, attacks on reproductive rights, book bans—these threats aren't looming. They are here now. If you think Democracy Now!'s reporting on these issues is essential, please sign up for a monthly gift of $10 or more. Right now, a generous donor will DOUBLE your gift, making your donation twice as valuable. We don't have a paywall or run ads, which means we’re not brought to you by the oil, gas, coal, or nuclear companies when we cover the climate catastrophe or by the weapons manufacturers when we cover war. Democracy Now! is funded by you and that’s why we need your help today. This is a challenging year for news organizations and nonprofits across the board, so please don’t close this window before making your gift. We're counting on you more than ever to sustain our reporting. Start your monthly donation of $10 or more right now and help Democracy Now! stay strong and independent all year round. Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel Won’t Say If Torture Is Immoral

HeadlineMay 10, 2018

On Capitol Hill, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, repeatedly refused Wednesday to call the CIA’s post-9/11 treatment of prisoners “torture,” and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. CIA Deputy Director Haspel’s comments came in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee as she made her case to become CIA director.

Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. Haspel also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. This is Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California questioning Haspel.

Sen. Kamala Harris: “Do you believe, in hindsight, that those techniques were immoral?”

Gina Haspel: “Senator, what I believe, sitting here today, is that I support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to.”

Sen. Kamala Harris: “Can you please answer the question?”

Gina Haspel: “Senator, I think I’ve answered the question.”

Sen. Kamala Harris: “No, you’ve not.”

Gina Haspel’s hearing was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, including members of the group CodePink, who shouted “Bloody Gina! You are a torturer!” and other slogans, as they were hauled out of the hearing by Capitol Police.

Tighe Barry: “Stop torture! Stop torture! Stop torture! Gina, stop the torture! Gina Haspel is a torturer!”

CodePink protester: “Stop crucifying Muslims! Stop crucifying Muslims!”

Among those arrested was Ray McGovern, a 78-year-old retired CIA officer, whose arm was reportedly dislocated after he was thrown to the ground by officers.

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has said he will vote against Haspel, but she appears headed for confirmation after two senators considered swing votes said Wednesday they would vote for her. We’ll have more on Gina Haspel after headlines with journalist Jeremy Scahill.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation