It should be pretty easy to declare that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA after 9/11 were morally wrong, but CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel repeatedly declined, during her confirmation hearings, to do so. Oops, that was bad, and now, a week later, she has modified her stance.
In a letter to ranking Senate intelligence Committee Democrat Mark Warner, who now supports her nomination, Haspel sings an ever so slightly more regretful tune, while still (falsely) claiming, as the CIA does, that “valuable intelligence” was (or, as she put it in her Senate testimony, may have been) collected. From NBC:
“While I won’t condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world,” Haspel wrote in the new letter. “With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”
I’m not entirely sure why we’re taking so deeply to heart a desperate last-minute turnaround from the former head of a Thailand black site who spent a week equivocating on whether or not torturing terrorism suspects was morally wrong, but here we are, trapped inside a failed Cartoon Network pilot about evil bureaucrats. Welcome back, girl! You made it!