VIPS Call on Senate Intel Panel to Vote Against Haspel

With torture-overseer Gina Haspel set to face the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday instead of a judge, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity urge committee members to vote against her nomination.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Opposition to Gina Haspel as CIA Director

We, the undersigned intelligence, diplomatic, law enforcement, and military professionals, are writing to urge you to vote against Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

Putting Haspel in charge of the CIA would undo attempts by the agency — and the nation — to repudiate torture. The message this would send to the CIA workforce is simple: Engage in war crimes, in crimes against humanity, and you’ll get promoted. Don’t worry about the law. Don’t worry about ethics. Don’t worry about morality or the fact that torture doesn’t even work. Go ahead and do it anyway. We’ll cover for you. And you can destroy the evidence, too.

Described in the media as a “seasoned intelligence veteran,” Haspel has been at the CIA for 33 years, both at headquarters and in senior positions overseas. Now the deputy director, she has tried hard to stay out of the public eye. Former CIA Director Michael Pompeo has lauded her “uncanny ability to get things done and inspire those around her.”

That is true for those of Haspel’s mindset. But many of the rest of us who knew and worked with Haspel at the CIA called her “Bloody Gina” because of her direct involvement in the CIA’s torture program.

The President’s appointment of Haspel hurts morale among CIA officers who recognize that torture is wrong, inefficient, and counterproductive. It comforts people at the agency who still believe that “enhanced interrogation” is somehow acceptable.

The message it sends to our friends and allies (and the countries we criticize in the State Department’s annual human rights reports) is this: We say we’re a shining city on a hill, a beacon of respect for human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. But that simply is not true. We say those things when it’s expedient. We say them to make ourselves feel good. But when push comes to shove, we do what we want, international law and the 8thAmendment to the Constitution be damned.

The meaning of Haspel’s nomination won’t be lost on our enemies, either. The torture program and similar abuses at military-run prisons in Iraq were among the greatest recruitment tools that al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other bad actors ever had, according to legal expertsU.S. lawmakers and even to the militants themselves. It energized them and gave them something to rally against. It sowed an even deeper hatred of the United States among militant groups. It swelled their ranks. It was no coincidence that the Islamic State paraded its prisoners in front of cameras wearing orange jumpsuits (like those worn by Guantanamo Bay detainees) before beheading them. Haspel and the others at the CIA who engineered and oversaw the torture program are at least partially responsible for that, because they showed the world how the United States sometimes treats captives.

Do we Americans want to be a rogue nation that tortures people, like North Korea? Do we want to be a nation whose CIA Director will not be able to visit the heads of counterpart services for fear of arrest under the principle of universal jurisdiction for the torture she is known to have led? Are we proud of the era when we snatched people from one country and sent them to another to be interrogated in secret prisons? Do we want to be the country that cynically preaches human rights and then violates those same rights when we think nobody is looking? 

Do we want to be a government that lies to its own people and then punishes the truth-tellers who have exposed official activities illegal, immoral, unacceptable, and incompatible with our values, even when classification of embarrassing or illegal conduct is expressly forbidden? (Full disclosure: The drafter of this memo, John Kiriakou, spent 23 months in federal prison for revealing that torture had been approved at the highest levels of government.)

Our country cannot afford that. We cannot look the other way. We cannot reward the torturers. Gina Haspel has no business running the CIA. Please vote against her nomination.

On March 25, 2018, we sent President Trump a Memorandum urging him to withdraw Haspel’s nomination, citing a long list of cogent, compelling reasons to do so. We have had no response. You and your staff may wish to review it.

Matthew Alexander, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (retired)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (retired) and Division Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA

Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader, Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (retired)

Philip Giraldi, CIA Operations Officer (retired)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, U.S. Air Force, Intelligence Officer, and former Master SERE Instructor (retired)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and Former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, LTC, U.S. Air Force (retired)

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (retired)

Ray McGovern, Army/Infantry Intelligence Officer and CIA Presidential Briefer (retired)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (retired)

Diane Roark, Republican Professional Staff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (retired)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (retired)

Greg Thielmann, Former Director, Office of Strategic, Political, and Military Affairs, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State and former staff member, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Peter Van Buren, former diplomat, U.S. Department of State

Sarah Wilton, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve (retired) and Defense Intelligence Agency (retired)

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

Laurence Wilkerson, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary

Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)

28 comments for “VIPS Call on Senate Intel Panel to Vote Against Haspel

  1. Lisa Rua
    May 14, 2018 at 07:17

    The woman in the photo is Sabrina Harmen. At least put Gina Haspels face to the article.

  2. Ralph Kramden
    May 10, 2018 at 22:50

    Remind me again, with Drumpf, Paine, Pompeo, Nimrata, Haspel, Bolton and all the other neo-cons, how do we differ from the Third Reich? It’s getting harder to tell the difference. Truly enjoyed the MSM on bended knees, not being able to show that Pence, having been elected undemocratically (Electoral College, not the majority of votes) lecturing about Venezuela’s upcoming election being a sham. Pence complains more than an Israeli about “Russian interference” yet gives $16 million to the government of Paraguay which the the USG placed in power with a coup. Introspection and self-analysis has never been a feature of Exceptionalstan. We is good at “seeing the sty in someone else’s eye…

    • Ralph Kramden
      May 10, 2018 at 22:52

      That was meant to be “Drumpf, Pence…”

  3. Kathie Bishop
    May 10, 2018 at 19:17

    Thank you VIPS for standing for morality and ethics in immoral times!!

  4. james
    May 9, 2018 at 13:30

    Do You Know Anything about the alleged Russian Birth Tourism?

    The RUSSIA Connection
    The problem is that China is tied to Russia and they are a team – make no mistake they are allies that are against America.

    Then we have little Hitler – the Rocket Man of North Korea that gets China riled up. Right now January 16, 2018 as I write this, I feel China is using Russia as more of a military distraction, and China is just utilizing Russia to create waves and problems, telling them to antagonize the USA by crossing borders, pushing the envelope, crossing lines, you know:, whatever rules the government makes about international boundaries by land, air and sea. They will and they are overstepping the boundaries

    In the future I psychically see that the USA will get into a disagreement with China, Russia has their back, I see them moving forward, slowly. Out of all the countries, I psychically see that Russia has the most WMD weapons of mass destruction (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), more ships, more drones, more artillery, more of everything than they had for the last cold war. Now why would they have all that military buildup? And the discipline and I see that they are training in the harshest environments? Those men are born and trained to be killers.

    Then there’s a large Russian faction in the USA. Russia, they love us, but yet they hate us. It’s a very dysfunctional relationship. But I psychically see that Russia’s got a lot of blackmail dirt on all our politicians and military men from the low ranks to the top echelons of the government. I know that Russia has a many-faceted plan for infiltrating and manipulating the USA from the inside.

    Psychically I know that “the Russian mob” is the biggest mob right now in America. And there is a huge amount of Russian owned or Russian backed businesses in the USA too.

    Remember Russians helped Trump win the presidential election – it’s a fact. He was not the people’s choice. Psychically I know that they hacked the electoral votes (Hillary knows it, the Shadow government knows it ) but it couldn’t go mainstream because it would have destabilized our government. Around election time, this knowledge and concrete proof would have caused a revolution against Washington DC – the type of chaos that the shadow government does not want: like a siege upon the Whitehouse and uncontrollable lawlessness that would have swept the country.

    Russia has several ways that they are infiltrating the USA. One method that is well documented “Russian Birth Tourism”. The USA knowingly allows pregnant Russian women to come here on a Visa, they can stay six months, they pay the US/Russian liaison up to $100K for doctors care and a plush apartments (many prefer Trump properties) . Yes, we welcome them, to come here to give birth – and the baby is automatically a full blooded US citizen!! Then most mothers return to Russia, some stay illegally. At a certain age, the Russian child ( that is a US citizen) can petition to sponsor its parents to become US citizens. OK, all that is well documented although most Americans aren’t aware.

    Now this is what I see with psychic insights: Many of these children will be sent to special Russian schools. They will visit America as often as they can with their US citizen passports, to be immersed in our culture. Eventually they will be trained by Russia’s secret military as Russian spies. At some point they return to the USA to live and integrate into society. We help our enemy to create Russian spies with US citizenship. Wow!

    As a health intuitive I see many issues with President Donald Trump. I See that he is in a state of mental and physical fatigue due to sleep deprivation. He has an enlarged prostate and his blood pressure is so high that he could have a stroke – he is a heart attack waiting to happen.

    Here’s what People want to know: Psychically I don’t see Donald Trump stepping down, being impeached or a successful attempt on his life.

    Trump is rebellious; he refuses to take expert counsel. He is a hot head with his own agenda. He will not be happy with being president and I see that he is so disillusioned with his job, he’s not considering running next term.

    I feel that our Shadow Government has decided to use Donald Trump the outsider as a fall guy as I have said before. I predict that something big is going to happen and ALL of the blame will be placed on Trump. He’s being used as a puppet by the Shadow Government – they know how to push his buttons and how to stroke his ego to get him to take action.

    I ask you to Pray for Global Peace daily, and stand up for Peace!

    Michelle Whitedove Psychic Insights Blog WWIII

    Written January 16, 2018 / Published April 10 2018

    >>>> Feel Free to leave a comment below Just leave your first name and dont worry your email address wont be posted

    • Ralph Kramden
      May 11, 2018 at 10:09

      Any Russians under your bed? Make sure to check. All this from a citizen of a country that has 800 or so military bases overseas, has overthrown, invaded more than 80 countries since WWII, directly interfered in the Russian elections of 1996 even bragged about it. The USA invaded the Soviet Union. Has Russia ever invaded the USA? Were Russian officials directly involved in directing the Democratic or Republican parties? Because US officials were certainly hand-on when Yeltsin was running.
      At present the USA is dropping bombs on seven different countries. The US is in violation of all kinds of international laws including having troops in Syria and Yemen. Those are war crimes me friend. The largest penal colony on the planet is certainly qualified to lecture other nations about human rights.
      Praying never accomplished anything it is only a make-you-feel-good superstition.

  5. Hide Behind
    May 8, 2018 at 23:04

    The very thought of this woman even to be allowed to participate in US society, let alone be nominated for an Presidential executive position, shows just how decadent our civilian and military people have become.
    While I can see why today’s public are not concerned, they have no moral fabric at all, I still want those who administer this nation to hold themselves above the debased citizenry.
    Sadly that is not the case.
    We elect and appoint “charaters” but not a one of honorable and moral character.

    • jane max
      May 10, 2018 at 07:25

      US gvmnt is nothing but military junta

  6. May 8, 2018 at 21:16

    The Deep State and alt right lunatic theory. However, remember that Dick Cheney formed “Continuity of Government”, hiding some real war monger, murderous types deep within the agencies….perhaps thats the Deep State they are really talking about…

  7. May 8, 2018 at 20:59

    Thank you to all you truth tellers. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessmant. This country is going toward fascism with policatlly impotent president, along with the neo cons, the same ones who gave us Iraq. Bolton, pompeo and Gina the Bloody are leading the fight for regirm change ALL for Israel and their grand plan for the Greater Israel. Iran will go down as the biggest blunder since Iraq, and all the past “wars by the crazies” Vietnam, Korea, et al.

    How the hell do we stop these lunatics. Corporate media certainly is on board with all these wars, they make money too.

    Again, thank you for your courage and boldness to attack the lunatics with truth.

  8. exiled off mainstreet
    May 8, 2018 at 20:46

    It seems like being a war criminal is beneficial to promotion prospects in the yankee imperium.

  9. F. G. Sanford
    May 8, 2018 at 18:19

    Gina, Gina, you tied me up so tight!
    That board was hard and cold, but I tried not to fold,
    You tortured me…all night!
    Gina (Gina), Gina (Gina), you used electric cord-
    It really made a sting, I tried hard not to sing-
    My screams you just ignored…
    Look at you, you’re such a shrew,
    So stern, so strict, so sly-
    Look at me, oh, pity me,
    I can’t believe that you blinded my left eye-
    But then Gina, Gina, you were inspiring!
    I almost went insane, so just to stop the pain
    Yes just for Gina, I made up ev-ry-thing!
    Oh look at you, you’re such a shrew,
    So mean, so cruel, unkind-
    Look at me, oh, pity me,
    I won’t deny I’m a terror mastermind-
    Just for Gina (Gina), Gina (Gina) she ripped my fingernails!
    She made me acquiesce, I knew I must confess:
    To stop that mean battle-axe (mean battle-axe)
    just for Gina, I made up lots of tales!

    Go to youtube and type in: Gina ~ Johnny Mathis ~ 1962 if you’d like to sing along…(yeah, I’m kinda dating myself here). My apologies to Gina Lollobrigida; any similarities are in name only.

    • mike k
      May 8, 2018 at 18:35

      Good one F.G.

    • May 8, 2018 at 21:13

      Thanks for this. As bad a picture as you paint….its hundred, thousands times worse when the US and their murdering bloodthirsty hardliners pushed for torture led by Ginq. Iran will be another sick war just ;like Iraq. The Persians know about torture in Iraq…how bout the guy feed through his rectum, kept awake for a week, his hands tied to the ceiling. Dick Cheney cheered for this torture calling it legal. In the CIA’s secret prisonsr. Khalid Mohamed told them he had recrutited black men from a western state…Did Gina know they were torturnng him…over 300 times he was water boarded. This confirmation hearting tomorrow, NYT reported Klahid has filed an emergency rusts for equsted emrergncy testimony to the Contressional heaing. How many of you think the congress will allow that. Khalid has asked permission for 6 paragraphs to be read at the congressional hearing and we dont know if the judge will permit it. Rachel Maddow reporting on this today, Tuesday.

  10. George Collins
    May 8, 2018 at 15:43

    Should be game set match…let Gina move on.

    That’s an illusory outcome.

  11. May 8, 2018 at 14:13

    Thank you

  12. May 8, 2018 at 13:45

    with all due respects to those well meaning souls having hysterical fits over this particular government-ruling class servant:
    at this moment, whether directly or with local hired merchants, we are bombing, shooting, stabbing and burning human beings in syria, iraq, afghanistan, libya, palestine, yemen – to mention only the middle east – and you good souls are near death rattling because one glorified clerk may be appointed to an agency of a system and government which none of us has yet shown any ability to control, or at least stop the mass murders ongoing since loooooong before the present pinhead-in-chief…hello? anybody able to act beyond cursing and swearing over one soldier while maintaining support of the murderous army?

    and some of you wonder why trump is president? this arrogant, egomaniacal asshole is over qualified to lead this nation!

    • mike k
      May 8, 2018 at 18:39

      Some of us are not supporting the Army or Gina. Be careful of inflicting friendly fire on us!

  13. John Puma
    May 8, 2018 at 13:34

    Here is the membership of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

    GOP (10 members note McCain not present?)
    Burr, Richard(NC), Chairman
    Risch, James E.(ID)
    Rubio, Marco(FL)
    Collins, Susan M.(ME)
    Blunt, Roy(MO)
    Lankford, James(OK)
    Cotton, Tom(AR)
    Cornyn, John(TX)
    McConnell, Mitch(KY), Ex Officio
    McCain, John(AZ), Ex Officio

    Dems (9 members)
    Warner, Mark R. (VA), Vice Chairman
    Feinstein, Dianne (CA)
    Wyden, Ron (OR)
    Heinrich, Martin (NM)
    King, Angus S. (ME)
    Manchin, Joe (WV)
    Harris, Kamala D. (CA)
    Schumer, Charles E. (NY), Ex Officio
    Reed, Jack (RI), Ex Officio

    • JC
      May 8, 2018 at 21:00

      sadly the Dems are even worse warmongers than the gop….there is no winning …and the media…..blow it up burn it to the ground…

    • Janice Martens
      May 9, 2018 at 12:25

      Warner and Manchin will vote with the Republicans, perhaps Feinstein, but they don’t need her vote, and everyone else will get plausible deniability or brownie points from Trump. If it is any consolation this would have been partisan either way, if it were Obama or another Dem in the Executive Branch. Either way the public and our country loses, just like the election choice. Hillary believes in torture too, she just did not make it a campaign pledge, as Trump did.

  14. Sneaky Pete
    May 8, 2018 at 13:28

    Let the dead (and almost dead John McCain) bury their dead. Avoid the rush.
    They BELIEVED Hillary Clinton would win and lead them to the Promised Land.
    Donald J. Trump won (as always).

  15. Taras 77
    May 8, 2018 at 12:39

    Senator Cotton is rumored to be standing in the wings to step in after the liklihood of Haspel’s rejection. It is indeed astonishing that trump would nominate her but maybe this is just another game of chess (sic).

  16. Bob Van Noy
    May 8, 2018 at 12:35

    Were the Senate Intelligence Committee a truly deliberative body, we would get a historically significant debate about what America could be, and how She has failed, and how She could yet try again to seek Justice. It would be an event that could not be missed, one that would make one proud to be a part of a Democratic Society.

    • Sam F
      May 9, 2018 at 21:00

      Yes, if only the Senate at least could debate. They do some discussion, but the political extremes learn little.
      As I often note, if we had a College of Policy Debate, they could study debates first and deepen discussions.
      If they debated textually off the record first, they could prepare public debate to bring out points at issue.
      The extremists could be countered more easily. They could even be scored on failure to support positions.

      • Bob Van Noy
        May 11, 2018 at 11:33

        Many Thanks Sam F. I love that idea! I can easily imagine valuable input and a lively debate. It is a far better solution than an idealistic think tank…

  17. mike k
    May 8, 2018 at 12:11

    It is not that all the powerful actors that have seized control of our nation are unaware of the evil nature of what they are doing. It is no use their pretending not to know that torture is illegal and deeply immoral – every ten year old kid knows that.
    The power cabal that holds all of us in thrall, not only knows they are doing evil – they delight in doing it, they exalt themselves with feelings of unlimited power over others. These are the sickest people on our planet, and they are on course to destroy everything true and beautiful – unless we stop them.

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      May 8, 2018 at 15:36

      So has CN dropped the absurd pretense that Trump is at odds with the Deep State?

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