I abhor the use of torture and would never support it, but I vote for Gina Haspel…

She might be the Nurse Ratched of the CIA, but from what little I know of the long-time career intelligence officer Gina Haspel it seems she ought to be installed as the new director of the CIA.

I guess the hang-up for some is the fact that she oversaw the torture of prisoners in a secret prison in Thailand. While I am 100 percent against torture, I have to realize the use of it was a policy of my government, like it or not. Of course we were only following orders as an excuse did not work for the Nuremberg defendants after World War II, but that was then and this is now and who is going to try us? God perhaps.

And yeah, where are all the self-righteous on this torture thing. Seems like a lot of them are probably on the side of the torturers. If not, then why don’t they speak up and speak loudly?

I may be naïve, but I thought America was better than that, that is to say I always thought it was the bad guys who used torture not us. I’ve written about this before. I do think we are less inclined to use it or at least have been, and I understand it is currently against our policy, what with all the bad publicity when it was revealed we used torture on 9/11 suspects.

And from comments I have heard in my personal life you might be surprised at the number of otherwise nice people who seem perfectly good with torture — on bad guys of course.

But if you believed in God’s love and his commandment to love your fellow human beings (yes I know, hard to love someone who seems to want to kill you), you would not believe in torture.

And besides, with our use of torture then how can we have any hope of protecting our own from torture should they be captured by the enemy and how could we have any basis for objection if we ourselves use it?

What I have also written before is that it is true that if suspects know we will not use torture then perhaps they might not be forthcoming in interrogations. But at the same time, experts will tell you that you don’t necessarily get good information from torture — victims simply scream out anything to make you stop. They might even be devious enough to spin a web of false information.

Haspel has testified that some good information was obtained via torture and has also indicated, however, overall torture is not effective. She vowed never to direct its use again and to refuse any order even by the president to do so. Apparently, if you are to believe her, she has had a coming to Jesus.

The CIA is in a dirty but necessary business. It would most of the time be best if we did not know much of it. And it would even be better if our enemies did not. I think our policy should be anti-torture. But I also think those who deal with terrorist suspects can use other psychological methods in an attempt to extract information. And when one is captive, cut off from the outside world, the great unknown and loneliness may be torture in and of itself.

With what little I know, I’d put my faith in Ms. Haspel. If anyone knows how to get information out of someone, a woman seems likely to me, that is from my experience.


Some who otherwise support Haspel are hung-up on her refusal to acknowledge torture as immoral. Among them is Sen. John McCain, who was a POW in North Vietnam for several years and who was subjected to torture but never caved in. I respect him for that. But if Haspel says she is now against torture, that is good enough for me. McCain as a Navy pilot bombed and no doubt killed innocent civilians. Should he say what he did was immoral? I don’t think it is necessary for either of them.



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