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What the Senate should ask Gina Haspel before she heads the CIA

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The Senate’s confirmation hearing for Gina Haspel to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency will be the last chance for the United States to confront its history of torturing terrorist suspects.

Haspel got cold feet a few days back as she prepared for her first public appearance representing the CIA. Who wouldn’t? She was contemplating a confession to countenancing violations of the laws of war.

But I suspect that when Wednesday’s hearing is done, the record of denial and deception will be largely intact. No one will be held to account. One of the darker chapters in 21st-century American history will be shoved farther down the memory hole.

The CIA, having acted with impunity and then absolved itself of wrongdoing, now likely will be led by Haspel, who both oversaw brutal interrogations at a CIA prison in Thailand and then drafted an order to destroy 92 videotapes recording these and other horrors.

"I've said to the people that we don't torture, and we don't," President George W. Bush insisted in 2006. But we did.“Torture works,” Donald J. Trump proclaimed in 2016. But it doesn’t. If Haspel isn’t compelled to say otherwise, these lies someday may be seen as truths.

The spy service conned Congress over the efficacy of torture; CIA’s counterterrorism chiefs held steadfast to the idea that torture worked. It........

© Japan Today