President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, pretended that the U.S. didn’t have laws against torture in 2002 when she was involved in torture at a CIA “black site” in Thailand, as reported by Democracy Now.
Haspel made her false claims during her Senate confirmation hearing.
She began by painting the CIA as victims when they were torturing, and even killing, innocent people during the George W. Bush administration:
CIA has learned some tough lessons from that experience. We were asked to tackle a mission that fell outside our expertise. For me, there is no better example of implementing lessons learned than what the agency took away from that program. In retrospect, it is clear, as the majority report concluded, that CIA was not prepared to conduct a detention and interrogation program.
Haspel then pretended that U.S. now has “clear, legal and policy framework that governs detentions and interrogations” that did not exist before:
Today, the U.S. Government has a clear, legal and policy framework that governs detentions and interrogations. Specifically, the law provides that no individual in U.S. custody may be subjected to any interrogation, technique, or approach that is not authorized by and listed in the army field manual.
I fully support the detainee treatment required by law and just as importantly, I will keep CIA focused on analysis missions that can best leverage the expertise we have at the agency.
Contrary to Haspel’s false claims, President Ronald Reagan signed the UN Convention on Torture in 1984 that banned torture, which was clearly defined, noted The Atlantic:
[A]ny act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity…
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
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