Democrats Disgrace Themselves Interrogating Trump's CIA Nominee

Anyone who watched the confirmation hearings of Gina Haspel should be astonished at the way most of the Democrats treated her.  KSM, the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, and the Senate intelligence panel"s Democrats both agree that they are against the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA.  He has written a letter to them giving information about Haspel, who in 2002 was a chief of base at a black-site prison in Thailand, where detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation.  Waterboarding was a big issue, but none thought to mention that it happened to only three terrorists.  Maybe the Democrats should call KSM as a witness, since they appear to be singing the same tune of Kumbaya.

At best, these Democrats were playing Monday-morning quarterback, but more likely, the takeaway is that they are politically correct, while appearing to sympathize with the terrorists.  New Mexico senator Martin Heinrich asked her, "Do you think that a transcript that says the detainees continued to scream has the same gravity, the same reality of an actual video?"

Is he kidding, or does he believe that Americans will ever feel sorry for these jihadist extremists who brutally killed 3,000 Americans?  This just shows how out of touch the Democrats are with reality.  Maybe Heinrich should think about the screams of those 3,000 people on 9-11 as they plunged to their deaths, were burned alive, or were dismembered.  After all, KSM said how his brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks: "[e]ventually America will expose her neck to us for slaughter."

Democratic senators on the Intelligence Committee – Heinrich, Feinstein, Warner, Harris, and King – ignored the legality of the Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation programs by calling them immoral.  They had the attitude of Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who asked over five times if Haspel "believed the previous interrogation techniques were immoral" and Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), who stated, "It is not enough that you have committed to the rule of law?" and called it "a get out of jail free card."

They refuse to remember the fear of a ticking time bomb.  As Jose Rodriguez, Jr., the former director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, previously told American Thinker, "to prevent a second wave of attacks, the detention and interrogation program was formulated.  We made sure that we vetted information.  Everything was based on legality, a training manual, strict procedures, and guidelines.  There were reports that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists, there were attempts to smuggle nuclear weapons into New York City, and al-Qaeda was trying to manufacture anthrax.  This program led to the disruption of terrorist plots that saved American lives.  It contributed to helping us learn more about al-Qaeda, including the best way to attack, thwart, and degrade it." 

The Democrats seem to be playing right into KSM's hands, since they frame what the CIA did as morally wrong.  Maybe someone should point out to them that KSM considers responses like theirs "one of Allah's gifts."  "The long war for Islamic domination wasn't going to be won in the streets with bombs and bullets and bloodshed, but would be won in the minds of the American people."

Haspel was pressed by the Democrats to throw her fellow CIA peers under the bus.  Speaking of moral courage, it is so obvious she has it all over the Democrats.  She stuck to her beliefs, refused to play their political game, and should be admired for doing this.  Her response: "It was the CIA who identified and captured the mastermind of 9-11 [KSM] in a brilliant operation.  I am proud of our work during that time, which allowed us to defend this country and prevent another attack."

She went on to say, "Under my leadership and watch, the CIA will not start the RDI program.  I support the higher moral standard that this country has decided to hold itself to.  I would never take the CIA back to an interrogation program.  We followed the law then; we follow the law today.  I support the law.  I would not put CIA officers at risk by asking them to undertake controversial field activities again.  The CIA has learned some tough lessons from that experience."

Former CIA director Michael Hayden previously noted that he was afraid that congressional actions would create a risk-averse environment.  He stated in an earlier interview, "This organization is in a lose-lose situation.  The curse of American intelligence officers is that we are criticized for not doing enough when the nation feels endangered and are criticized for doing too much when everybody feels safe again."

Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) had the audacity to compare a CIA officer to a terrorist when asking, "If one of your operation officers was captured and subjected to waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques, would you consider that to be moral and good tradecraft?"

Really!  These bona fide American heroes, among whom Gina Haspel is included, men and women who serve in the intelligence agency, never get the heroic welcome or thanks they so rightly deserve for the risks they take.  Their names will never be known, and they will never receive the public gratitude so many others get.  There are no parades for these quiet professionals.  Maybe Senator Reed should be reminded that the first person to die in battle, defending this country, right after 9-11 was Mike Spann, a CIA paramilitary officer, who was beaten to death by the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan as they screamed "Allah akbar."  Note to the senator: Waterboarding would be the least of the CIA's problems, considering that the terrorists enjoy beheading people. 

Gina Haspel was put through the ringer, while in 2013 many of these same Democrats had a love-fest with John Brennan during his confirmation hearing. Surprisingly, even some Republicans voted for him, including Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.  Even though he was the fourth person in charge at the agency during those turbulent times, never was Brennan asked about his role, or why more information was not de-classified.  In fact, Senator Heinrich agreed with Brennan – "I would just say I agree with you that sources and methods, and many of the operational details, absolutely should never be declassified" – while denouncing Haspel for not declassifying.  Senator Warner described Brennan's dedication, selflessness, intelligence, and patriotism but did not use those terms of endearment for Haspel.

Americans should feel anger and frustration toward the Democrats who are obviously hypocrites for disparaging a patriot such as Gina Haspel.  She has made sacrifices, put herself in harm's way, and faithfully served her country.  Why?  To protect her fellow citizens.

Although Michael Hayden did not make this statement about the current Senate Democrats and the confirmation of Gina Haspel, it is applicable today.  "It feels like September 11th never took place, that Americans are living in the bubble of September 10th, 2001.  Americans need to wake up and not forgot the real dangers under which we are living."

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Image: Mark Warner via Flickr.

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