Tags: michael hayden | cia | torture | gina haspel

Michael Hayden: CIA Pick Haspel Will Not Bring Back Torture

Michael Hayden: CIA Pick Haspel Will Not Bring Back Torture
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 March 2018 08:55 AM

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel "did her duty" for the United States and will not return the agency to the days when enhanced interrogation practices were being used if she is confirmed as its director, former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said Wednesday.

"I think the world of her," Hayden told CNN's "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota. "The CIA is the calmest institution in the federal government today because they know who their next director is going to be, and they have great confidence in her."

Haspel was asked, Hayden said, "to go do hard things on behalf of the country, asked to do that by her director, by her country, and with the sanctioned validation of the Department of Justice at the time."

Haspel, 61, has a long history in the CIA's clandestine service and was in charge of the agency's "black box" interrogation cell in Thailand after the 9-11 attacks, when George Tenet was still director of the CIA. Hayden became CIA director in 2006.

Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two high-profile al-Qaida detainees, were subjected to torture methods including waterboarding while being held at the secret prison. 

The matter of Haspel's history at the CIA already has been "litigated, it's been asked and answered," Hayden said Wednesday.

"If anyone is worried that Gina's nomination suggests the CIA is going back to this, let me remind folks of what I said when she was selected to be the deputy director last year," he said.

"Her choice indicated that the agency intended neither to repudiate nor repeat its past. Gina loves the agency."

Further, the CIA "feels a genuine sense of betrayal as to what happened to the agency as we shifted administrations," said Hayden. "Many CIA case officers were hung out to dry. Gina is never going to put her officers in that kind of situation. We aren't going back to enhanced interrogation."

Hayden also commented on the decision to CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying it will mean the rest of the world will believe that he is giving a position that is shared by President Donald Trump.

However, the "dark side" of that is that Pompeo "sees the world in much the same way as President Trump sees the world," he added.

"Secretary Tillerson, I think, performed a very useful function, as a counterpoint to the president's instinctive, spontaneous reactions to events, so things are going to be different here," Hayden said.

He further believes that an "awful lot" of Trump's campaign rhetoric and the things he's said or tweeted over the past 15 months will happen more often.

"The brakes or the guardrails have been up there by some of these other individuals in our government," said Hayden.

Pompeo likely will be in place when Trump heads for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Hayden pointed out that the new secretary "is fairly skeptical that the North Koreans will give up their weapons, so we'll see what that dynamic plays out."

Trump and Pompeo also are closely aligned in their opposition to the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, said Hayden, which is one thing Tillerson had pushed back on with Trump.

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Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said Wednesday CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel "did her duty" for the United States and will not return the agency to the days when enhanced interrogation practices were being used.
michael hayden, cia, torture, gina haspel
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2018-55-14
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 08:55 AM
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