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Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head CIA by Failing to Hold Torturers Accountable

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On Capitol Hill Wednesday, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, announced she would not restart the CIA’s interrogation program. But she repeatedly refused to call the CIA’s post-9/11 treatment of prisoners “torture,” and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral. Haspel’s comments came in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, as she made her case to become the first woman to head the agency. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, where one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways. Haspel also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. At least two Republican senators have come out against her—Rand Paul and John McCain, who said her “role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” But Haspel may still be confirmed with the help of Democratic lawmakers. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already announced he will back Haspel. We speak with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept and host of the weekly podcast “Intercepted.”

Related Story

StoryMay 16, 2018Key Democrats Back Gina Haspel’s Confirmation as CIA Director, Despite Her Record on Torture
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: On Capitol Hill, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, announced she would not restart the CIA’s interrogation program. But she repeatedly refused to call the CIA’s post-9/11 treatment of prisoners torture, and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral.

Haspel’s comments came in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee as she made her case to become the first woman to head the agency. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002, where one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways. 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 that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I believe that CIA officers to whom you referred—

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: It’s a yes-or-no answer. Do you believe the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? I’m not asking, “Do you believe they were legal?” I’m asking, “Do you believe they were immoral?”

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I believe that CIA did—

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: It’s a yes-or-no answer.

GINA HASPEL: —extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country, given the legal tools that we were authorized to use.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Please answer yes or no: 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.

AMY GOODMAN: Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing was repeatedly interrupted by anti-torture protesters.

PROTESTER: The question is: What do you do to human beings in U.S. custody? Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! You are a torturer! Bloody Gina!

AMY GOODMAN: Another protester who interrupted Haspel’s hearing was retired 27-year CIA officer Ray McGovern. In dramatic video posted online, police can be seen dragging the 78-year-old McGovern out of the room, throwing him to the ground and dislocating his arm.

POLICE OFFICER 1: Stop resisting us!

RAY McGOVERN: I’m not resisting.

POLICE OFFICER 1: Yes, you are! Give me your—

RAY McGOVERN: No, I’m not! I’m lying on the ground.

POLICE OFFICER 1: Give me your arm! Give me your arm!

RAY McGOVERN: I’m lying on—

POLICE OFFICER 1: Give me your arm!

RAY McGOVERN: It’s dislocated, man!

POLICE OFFICER 1: Give me your arm!

RAY McGOVERN: My left arm is—

POLICE OFFICER 1: Give me your arm!

RAY McGOVERN: My left arm is dislocated, damn it!

POLICE OFFICER 1: Give me your arm!

RAY McGOVERN: Don’t you understand?

WITNESS: Stop hurting him!

POLICE OFFICER 1: Stop fighting.

RAY McGOVERN: Don’t you understand? My left arm is—ahhh!

POLICE OFFICER 2: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.

POLICE OFFICER 1: Stop fighting.

RAY McGOVERN: I’m not fighting. I’m on the ground.

POLICE OFFICER 2: Hold on, guys. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.

RAY McGOVERN: And if you’d let me get my glasses on, I could see what’s happening.

POLICE OFFICER 2: Let’s get him up. Let’s get him up.

WITNESS: You’re hurting him!

POLICE OFFICER: Let’s get him up first.

RAY McGOVERN: You guys are hurting me.

WITNESS: Stop hurting him!

RAY McGOVERN: I’m immobilized. I’m immobilized. You’re going to dislocate my shoulder again. And, look, would you pick up my glasses, before you step on them?

AMY GOODMAN: A lawyer who spoke to Ray McGovern in jail said he’s being held overnight and faces arraignment this morning. Ray McGovern, long time worked for the CIA, one of the top briefers for President George H.W. Bush years ago.

On Wednesday night, President Trump tweeted, “Gina Haspel did a spectacular job today. There is nobody even close to run the CIA!” he tweeted.

But at least two Republican senators have come out against Haspel: Rand Paul and John McCain. McCain said her, quote, “role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” But Haspel may still be confirmed with the help of Democratic lawmakers. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already announced he’ll back Haspel.

For more, we’re joined by Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, host of the weekly podcast Intercepted, author of the books Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army and Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, and the Oscar-nominated film Dirty Wars.

Jeremy, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about what happened yesterday, and talk about Gina Haspel’s record.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, first of all, I think that if we look at the fact that we’re 17 years removed from 9/11, and we look at how this country has not come to terms with all of the acts of torture, kidnapping, extrajudicial killing, that was done with the veneer of legalism, put over it by very creative, albeit creative in a sort of evil way, lawyers in the Bush administration, what has resulted in not holding those torturers accountable is that one of them is now ascending to the highest post in the CIA.

And, you know, Amy, the CIA is generally prohibited from engaging in operations inside of the United States, and also prohibited from engaging in propaganda aimed at the American people. And yet, to me, this whole Gina Haspel nomination really seems like a CIA operation itself. You know, the CIA, throughout history, from its origins—and this was the case with its predecessor, the OSS—has had a mastery of coups and interventions and interfering in affairs of other nations and waging propaganda battles. Gina Haspel, when she was nominated for the CIA, was the recipient of an enormous amount of support from the CIA’s social media accounts, Twitter and others. And it was a propaganda campaign that was aimed at all of us, at the American people. It was aimed at lawmakers, it was aimed at journalists, where they sort of tweeted a—and they did it over and over and over, and they even did it once Haspel was technically in charge of the CIA, where they’re giving her biography, making her sound like some combination of like Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, with Jack Bauer. I mean, it was really kind of incredible.

And then they selectively—the CIA—declassified documents, including one from a Hillary Clinton supporter, Mike Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, that sought to exonerate Gina Haspel of any wrongdoing in the destruction of the CIA tapes, pinning all of the blame on her boss, Jose Rodriguez. The reason I’m bringing all of this up is because Gina Haspel is—has been embraced by Republican and Democratic nominees, everyone from John Brennan, who was sort of Obama’s killer priest—you know, they always said, “Oh, John Brennan, it’s like he’s like priest-like. He has this great conscience.” This man ran a global assassination program. Michael Hayden, Bush’s former CIA director, I actually respect his intellectual honesty, because, unlike Brennan and Clapper and others, Hayden says, “I support torture, and torture works, and that’s part of why I support Gina Haspel.” What we saw yesterday was a CIA propaganda operation. Gina Haspel’s answers were very carefully prepared, the way she refused to answer Kamala Harris’s questions about the immorality of torture.

And, you know, one of the things I found was astounding was she said the CIA has historically not been in the business of interrogations. What on Earth is she talking about? And why wasn’t she pressed on that? I believe that what she was doing was relying on a technicality, which is that the CIA traditionally outsources those interrogations, or they will have people like those mental health professionals, Mitchell and Jessen, who were essentially the ones that came in and said, “Here’s how we can reverse-engineer the tactics that we use to train our own personnel to resist torture or to face torture. Let’s reverse-engineer that and actually apply it in an offensive manner against prisoners.”

So, the fact that—this hearing was a farce, where, unfortunately, some of the Democrats and all of the Republicans engaged in a collective endorsement of what is, in my view, quite clearly, a CIA propaganda operation. It’s a coup of sorts to have someone like Gina Haspel, who has been involved with destroying evidence, torture, kidnapping, and refuses—refuses—to denounce any of it. I mean, it’s incredible that 17 years after 9/11 and—and, I’m sorry, Obama plays a huge role in how this happened. The moment Obama said, “We need to look forward, not backward,” was the moment that Gina Haspel was able to become a viable candidate for CIA. And, I mean, this is a very, very serious development and the result of a probably extralegal propaganda campaign and an operation aimed at the domestic American public.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to go back to who you mentioned, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California, questioning Gina Haspel at Wednesday’s hearing.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Would you agree that given this appearance of conflict or potential conflict around the classification or declassification of these documents, that—would you agree that Director Coats, instead, should have the responsibility for declassification decisions regarding your background?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I think one important thing is that this committee plays a unique role to review the classified record. And we have sent over every piece of paper we can lay our hands on about my classified record, all of my evaluations over a 33-year career. And I hope every senator has had the opportunity to look at that classified material.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Indeed, I have.

GINA HASPEL: But there are—

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: And I have another question for you, then, because I only have a few minutes left—I only have a few seconds left. The president has asserted that torture works. Do you agree with that statement?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I don’t believe that torture works. I believe that in the CIA’s program—and I’m not attributing this to enhanced interrogation techniques—I believe, as many people, directors, who have sat in this chair before me, that valuable information was obtained from senior al-Qaeda operatives, that allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Is that a yes?

GINA HASPEL: No, it’s not a yes. We got valuable information from debriefing of al-Qaeda detainees. And I don’t—I don’t think it’s knowable whether interrogation techniques played a role in that.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Jeremy, if you could respond to what Gina Haspel said, and also elaborate on what exactly she was responsible for at that CIA black site in Thailand?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, the CIA black site in Thailand was called Cat’s Eye. And, you know, at the time, Gina Haspel was—I mean, they describe her as a mid-level officer in the CIA. But let’s remember, this was the most closely guarded, sensitive program of the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and they chose Gina Haspel—the CIA chose Gina Haspel to be in charge of one of the main black sites that the CIA was using when they would either kidnap individual—I mean, they call it “rendition,” it’s kidnap—when they would kidnap individuals, purchase them from warlords or receive them from allied forces either in the Middle East or in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And her job was to oversee the interrogation, the debriefing, as she puts it, of prisoners that were snatched off the battlefield.

And the rationale for it was, A, we need to find out who knows what about how 9/11 happened and who planned it, and, B, are there more attacks planned. And if you remember, at that time, 17 years ago, there was a lot of concern that there was going to be another attack. There was the whole anthrax thing going on. I mean, there was real hysteria. So, that is the part of it that they—that at yesterday’s hearings everyone up the focus on. It was like, “Let’s remember what was going on at that time.” So, Haspel is sent there. And my understanding is that prior to her arriving there, there was some extreme torture used against prisoners. And then, during her time there, what they’ve publicly acknowledged is that at least one individual was waterboarded dozens and dozens of times.

AMY GOODMAN: And slammed against a wall and—

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I mean, the whole focus has been on waterboarding, and Gina Haspel yesterday said, “Well, I will follow the U.S. Army Field Manual,” which has been on the books for a long time, and remains on the books, of what DOD personnel are allowed to do during an interrogation. And that includes extreme sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, putting people in very confined spaces. I mean, let’s remember, they would put people in boxes, the CIA would. They sometimes would place inside of those boxes insects and tell them they were poisonous. They would do walling, where they would have a chain on one side of the wall, the prisoner is attached to that chain on the other side of the wall, with a hole in it, and they could yank them and then slam them against a wall. And then you had, of course, waterboarding.

Now, you know, the question was, though: Is this a moral? And Gina Haspel kept saying, “Well, it was legal.” There’s no record that Gina Haspel protested, expressed concern. And there is a record that at other sites—and, in fact, at that site later—that interrogators did sort of rebel and say, “Wait a minute. Are we really supposed to be doing this?” I mean, you know, as Trump became president, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year, year and a half, studying World War II and the aftermath of World War II. And, of course, everyone has heard of the Nuremberg trials, where the Nazis were put on trial. And it was everyone from very high-ranking people all the way down to lower-ranking people. In fact, very recently, in the past years, the Israelis and the United States have both tried to apprehend people that were guards at facilities, people that weren’t even accused of directly killing anyone. And the Nuremberg principles dictate that saying you were just doing your job is not a defense. And yet, that is the primary defense of Gina Haspel.

And, Amy, final point on this, in Japan, after World War II, the tribunal was called the Tokyo Trials. And, yes, they prosecuted very top-level people. They also prosecuted—this was U.S. prosecutors—they also prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding, for waterboarding American POWs. And I read the primary testimony of some of those soldiers. Ted Kennedy, actually, in 2006, on the floor of the Senate, read some of the testimony of American soldiers who had water sprayed up their nostrils, doused on their faces. Some of those people were executed. And among the charges they were executed for was waterboarding—not solely waterboarding, but waterboarding was one of the main charges. And others were sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. What’s Gina Haspel’s sentence? Oh, to be nominated as Central Intelligence Agency director.

AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s go to Jack Reed, the Democratic senator of Rhode Island, questioning Gina Haspel.

SEN. JACK REED: If one of your operatives were captured, subjected to waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques, which you, I believe, supervised, would you consider that to be moral, since perhaps the other entity did not have legal restrictions, and good tradecraft, as you appeared to do when you were involved in it previously?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I don’t believe the terrorists follow any guidelines or civilized norms or the law. CIA follows the law.

SEN. JACK REED: Excuse me, madam, you seem to be saying that you were not following civilized norms and the law or anything else, when you were conducting those self-same activities, if that’s the analogy you’re going to draw.

GINA HASPEL: Sir, I’m sorry, can you—I—

SEN. JACK REED: Very simple. You have an operations officer who is captured. He’s being waterboarded. I’ve asked you, very simply: Would you determine that to be immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way, shape or form? Your response seems to be that civilized nations don’t do it, but uncivilized nations do it, or uncivilized groups do it.

UNIDENTIFIED: The United States does it to the soldiers.

SEN. JACK REED: A civilized nation—a civilized nation was doing it, until it was outlawed by this Congress.

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I would never, obviously, support inhumane treatment of any CIA officers.

AMY GOODMAN: And let’s turn to Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine questioning Gina Haspel.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: As a candidate, President Trump repeatedly expressed his support for waterboarding. In fact, he said we should go beyond waterboarding. So, if the CIA has a high-value terrorism suspect in its custody, and the president gave you a direct order to waterboard that suspect, what would you do?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I would advise—I do not believe the president would ask me to do that.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Gina Haspel doesn’t believe that the president would ask her to do that. This is Donald Trump while he was running for president.

DONALD TRUMP: Don’t tell me it doesn’t work. Torture works. OK, folks? Torture—you know, have these guys: “Torture doesn’t work.” Believe me, it works, OK? And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they ask me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding. That’s the way I feel.

AMY GOODMAN: “I would go much stronger than waterboarding,” says President Trump. Jeremy Scahill?

JEREMY SCAHILL: You know, my question for anybody watching or listening right now is: When you hear the phrase “speaking truth to power,” you know, who do you think of? You think of people like Martin Luther King. You think of, you know, activists. You think of people of conscience. That is the phrase that lawmakers, you know, the people that introduced her, former CIA directors—they say, “Gina Haspel is the person that you want speaking truth to power.” And there’s this sort of hashtag #resistance view of Gina Haspel that exists, which is, “Well, Haspel already knows all of this stuff. She understands. She’s been in the CIA for 30 years. She’s going to be able to sort of do that dance with Trump and stand up to him.” No. We already know how she views these. There were people that were interrogators that protested. There were CIA officers and State Department people who resigned. Gina Haspel followed the orders. And so, whether it is George Bush and Dick Cheney or it’s Donald Trump, the track record of Gina Haspel is that she does what she’s told, even if it’s a heinous act of torture.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about the destruction of the videotapes? Explain what she did.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, first of all, Gina Haspel claimed, in this hearing, that there were 92 tapes and that it was 92 tapes of one individual. You know, Jason Leopold, who is a BuzzFeed news journalist that has done really incredible work FOIAing information—he and Marcy Wheeler have tracked this stuff more than anyone else—said that it was tapes of two individuals. Gina Haspel claims that they took the—that they had these recordings, that there was concern because the program—meaning the extraordinary rendition program and the black sites program—had started to seep out into the media. It was being reported on in The Washington Post, New York Times, Sy Hersh, other people. And they said, “Oh, well, we can’t have these things leaked, because it’s going to put at risk the agents in the field.”

And Haspel and her boss, Jose Rodriguez, who openly brags—he goes on his book tours and stuff, openly brags that he jump-started the torture program, said it worked, etc. Haspel was his deputy at the time that these tapes were ordered destroyed. And Haspel had to actually draft the memo for Jose Rodriguez. Now, her defenders portray it as though she was like Rodriguez’s secretary and was doing it. No, she was one of the people that ran the site where these tapes were filmed.

And she said, openly, in the hearing, which actually contradicted a lot of what her defenders said about her—she said she absolutely supported destroying the tapes. Now, and then she’s asked during the hearing—now, mind you, this is someone who is up for CIA director. She is asked, “Why didn’t you preserve a copy of it in a secure way? OK, we understand that you wanted to destroy any tapes that may have been not held securely. Why didn’t you preserve a copy?” She says, “Oh, I’m not a technical person.” Huh? You’re not a technical person, and you’re going to be the director of the CIA? This is what I’m saying. This whole thing is a PSYOP against us.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, let’s turn to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California questioning Gina Haspel yesterday.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Were you an advocate for destroying the tapes?

GINA HASPEL: Senator, I absolutely was an advocate, if we could within and conforming to U.S. law and if we could get policy concurrence to eliminate the security risk posed to our officers by those tapes. And the consistent legal—

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: And you were aware of what those tapes contained?

GINA HASPEL: No, I never watched the tapes.


GINA HASPEL: But I understood that our officers’ faces were on them and that that was very dangerous at a time when there were unauthorized disclosures that were exposing the program.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: But it also exposed how the program was conducted.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So that’s Gina Haspel responding to questions by Feinstein. I wanted to ask, Jeremy, given what you said earlier about the history of the CIA and their not only participation in programs of torture, but also intervening in other countries, overthrowing various governments, whether anyone in the CIA would not be complicit in what Gina Haspel has been complicit in, or variations of the same. And then, second, the point that Trump made about, you know, waterboarding and worse. What about the fact that the CIA, for worse things than waterboarding, principally rendered—or, as you say, kidnapped—detainees and sent them to places like Syria, Iraq, Jordan, etc., where they knew the torture would be much more brutal?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, first of all, yes, there are people who worked in the CIA—a lot of people who worked in the CIA that I don’t think you could say, “Oh, these people are responsible for torture.” But even if we want to look at sort of—and I’ll answer that question directly in a second. But even if you want to look at sort of grades of involvement, Gina Haspel is like at the top. You know, she was one of the people who was running one of the early sites where the United States was doing this. So, it’s clear that—and the fact that she refuses to call it immoral or to say that the tactics that the senators were specifically citing was torture—she kept saying, “Well, you know, we got this valuable information. Uh, it’s a mystery. I don’t know. Maybe it was attributable to that, maybe it wasn’t.”

But, you know, in general, the CIA is divided into two big camps. I mean, there’s lots of little nuance, but two big camps: the analytical side and the operations side. The operations side is sort of the dark side, the Dick Cheney view of it. Those are the people that were conducting the operations that Gina Haspel was involved with. Then you have people that are on the analytical side. And those were the people that the neocons said was like a liberal think tank. They would have been the people that were pushing back internally against, for instance, the information that was put in front of Colin Powell when he went to the United Nations to sell the Iraq War for the Bush administration. Ray McGovern, who was dragged out of that hearing and had his arm dislocated, you know, this is a man who’s almost 80 years old. Ray McGovern came out of the analytical division at the CIA. Glenn Carle, another person who was also a CIA interrogator—he actually was on the operations side—was against torture and spoke out about torture.

So, you know, I certainly don’t mean to be heaping any praise on the CIA. But to directly answer your question: of course. And there were people that were very seriously protesting, including people who were in the same position as Gina Haspel after her, who were saying, “Uh-uh, this is not right.”

AMY GOODMAN: What do you feel is the critical question that wasn’t asked, as we wrap up?

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I think that the Democrats should have shut the entire thing down and refused to participate anymore until Gina Haspel answered the question about is waterboarding torture, and not get into some legalistic thing of what John Yoo, a man who would justify all manner of torture and say, “Well, anything short of killing them is not actually torture”—

AMY GOODMAN: Who’s at UC Berkeley Law School.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Who’s at—yeah, ironically. Look—

AMY GOODMAN: Jay Bybee, federal judge.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yes, also. I mean, they had all these—

AMY GOODMAN: John Brennan.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Exactly, right. And, you know, Hitler also had a lot of lawyers that could make things legal. And people say, “Oh, you’re comparing the United States to Nazi Germany.” No, they’re doing it. They’re doing it by using the very excuse that war criminals the world over attempt to use. So, I think they should have pushed her on the idea that: Do you think that just doing your job is an excuse? Your conscience plays no role in this? You know, have you ever heard of a conscientious objection? But the fact—and I think John McCain, as discredited as he is on a lot of issues, the man was tortured and understands this issue and has made the point that the United States prosecuted Japanese war criminals for doing these same things. His point was good. It is totally disqualifying, no matter what you think, if you’re a Republican, Democrat, not to say that was immoral.

AMY GOODMAN: And she gets to classify or declassify the documents. She’s in charge of the CIA right now, right? Acting director.

JEREMY SCAHILL: She is. And I also—and the other point—I mean, look, this was all they talked about yesterday, for the most part, this and then, you know, Marco Rubio and others sort of saying, “Oh, we love the CIA, and you’re all so great.” They didn’t talk about any other issues. Gina Haspel at one point mentions the relationship between the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA has never been closer. I mean, to me, the elephant in the room of all of this is that the CIA and the U.S. military’s darkest elements, they’re in a golden era right now. I mean, Trump is an ideal person for them. All of this stuff about the deep state is trying to destroy Trump—establishment neocons hate the man, but they love what’s going on right now. And, unfortunately, they’re in an alliance increasingly with liberals.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, I want to thank you for being with us, co-founder of The Intercept, host of the weekly podcast Intercepted, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and The Assassination Complex.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we’ll talk about a new book that is out. We’ll talk about one Syrian’s experience of the Syrian war, Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War. And we’ll be joined by Molly Crabapple. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: “El Misterio,” “The Mystery,” by the New York band Radio Jarocho, performing along with Zenen Zeferino in our Democracy Now! studios. Tonight, Radio Jarocho will be performing at Joe’s Pub here in New York to release their second album, Rios de Norte y Sur, Rivers of the North and South.

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