Former Senate CIA Investigator Warns Biden Against Picks Tainted By Torture, ‘Cover Up’ | Talking Points Memo

The chief investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2014 torture report is urging President-elect Joe Biden not to include anyone in his administration who was complicit in torture, or who otherwise frustrated efforts to investigate and hold people responsible for it. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The last four years of Trump is an outgrowth of our inability to hold government officials accountable for wrongdoing,” he said. “I think you can draw a line from post-9/11 through the last four years.”


Could not agree more. I thought - foolishly as it turns out - that the Bush/Cheney torture years would be the worst that we saw from our government, ever. That being said, I do endorse not including any criminal in a Biden/Harris administration.



Jones, who was played by the actor Adam Driver in the 2019 film “The Report,” said on Twitter Monday that Haines failed to hold anyone accountable for a 2014 episode in which multiple CIA officials improperly accessed Senate Intelligence Committee computer networks. At the time, the committee was conducting its years-long investigation of U.S. government-authorized torture — an effort on which Jones was the chief Senate staffer.

“Complicit in torture” makes for quite a splashy press release.

Haines, then deputy CIA director, accepted a CIA accountability board’s suggestion that she not penalize any CIA personnel involved.

Is she accused of ordering torture? No.
Is she accused of publicly or privately condoning torture? No.
Is she accused of directing these CIA officials to access the Senate networks? No.
Is she accused of subverting CIA disciplinary protocols? No.

What is Jones accusing her of?

Not acting exactly how Jones would like her to act.

I wonder (other than Adam Driver) who is on his short-list of acceptable nominees who have ever served in an intelligence post of any kind?


Both Haines and Morell supported Haspel’s nomination to lead the agency in 2018.

That should be enough right there to disqualify them. “Enhanced interrogation” was always torture and everyone involved knew it. Not holding the people directly involved responsible just makes the enablers and apologists like Haspel complicit in that torture. And not punishing bad behavior is exactly how you end up with a Trump.


On the one hand, you and some puppets.

On the other hand, Dan Jones, a person whose investigation led to the following:





From the article:

“This is about the continuing coverup of the torture program, the long legacy of that […] And I wish I could say Haines wasn’t a part of that, but she was.”


I firmly believe there is no bottom to what the GOP would or will do. It will produce leaders worse than what we’ve experienced to date.


First off there should be legislation to get rid of the DoJ immunity memo that puts a sitting POTUS beyond the reach of the law. We hear the refrain “no one is above the law”. Let’s live up to that. Had legislation like that been enforced then I suspect trump would not have ripped kids from their parents and then caged both as a means of deterring others coming here as refugees. His idea was others would hear of the pain that had been inflicted as state policy. And to me that is torture. For which trump should be made to answer for. President or not.


Yes, all evidence to the contrary, I can read.

I can also see how he conflated that more esoteric standard with the more splashy “complicit in torture.”

So I must assume Jones sees them as equal crimes.

That aside, nothing in the report rises to the level of Haines “continuing [to] coverup the torture program.”


We can still beg to differ, yes?

Or am I now an apologist for Dick Cheney?


You can, sure!

Above, I merely addressed your direct question, as much as I was able.

Have a great evening.


You have a great evening, too.

And I addressed your addressing of my original address.


If anyone wants to convince me that Waterboarding is not Torture, they’d have agree to be waterboarded by someone who is trying to persuade them that it is.

And if they pass that test, they can explain why Japanese Soldiers were executed for engaging in Waterboarding following WWII.



Yes or no

Do you agree with his general quote that Donald Trump’s presidency is the result of intel oversight being just words (reports)?


Remember that before Trump was the Republican Nominee, he publicly advocated for Torturing captives. He only grudgingly set that idea aside.

If you think about how eventually nearly all devices and techniques used in National Security and Defense eventually make their way into Law Enforcement, we can NEVER allow Torture to be a government tool.

That Genie will never go back in the bottle.


Jones told TPM the lack of accountability for Haspel, and her subsequent rise to lead the CIA, sent a simple message to agents in the field: “All will be forgiven.”

It sure did and she should not be in any position of trust. She should not have authorized the destruction of tapes containing images of Americans committing torture. She should go! Yesterday.

From WIKI:

She was approved for confirmation by the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 16 by a 10–5 vote, with two Democrats voting in favor.[77] The next day, Haspel was confirmed by the full Senate, on a mostly party-line, 54–45 vote.[78] Paul and Jeff Flake of Arizona were the only Republican nays, and six Democrats — Donnelly, Manchin, Warner, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire — voted yes.[79] McCain, who had urged his colleagues to reject her nomination, did not cast a vote, as he was hospitalized at the time.[79]

More from Wiki:

Torture and destruction of evidence controversy[edit]

Memo on Gina Haspel’s involvement

In late October 2002, Haspel became a chief of base for a “black site” CIA torture prison located in Thailand.[30][31] She worked at a site that was codenamed “Cat’s Eye”, which would later become known as the place where suspected al Qaeda terrorist members Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were detained and tortured with waterboarding.[24][32] In early February 2017, The New York Times and ProPublica reported that these waterboardings were both conducted under Haspel.[33][34] In March 2018, U.S. officials said Haspel was not involved in the torture of Zubaydah, as she only became chief of base after Zubaydah was tortured. ProPublica and The New York Times issued corrections to their stories but noted that Haspel was involved in the torture of al-Nashiri.[31][33] In August 2018, cables from the site, dating from November 2002 and likely authorized by if not written by Haspel, were released because of a Freedom of Information lawsuit, and they describe the torture of Nashiri in detail, including slamming him against a wall, confining him to a small box, waterboarding him, and depriving him of sleep and clothing, while threatening to turn him over to others who would kill him and calling him “a little girl,” “a spoiled little rich Saudi,” and a “sissy”.[35]

Haspel played a role in the destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and at other secret agency locations.[36][31][37] A partially-declassified CIA document shows that the instruction for a new method of record keeping at the black site in Thailand, re-recording over the videos, took place in late October 2002, soon after Base Chief Haspel’s arrival.[38][39]

On December 17, 2014, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) pressed criminal charges against unidentified CIA operatives, after the US Senate Select Committee published its report on torture by US intelligence agencies. On June 7, 2017, the ECCHR called on the Public Prosecutor General of Germany to issue an arrest warrant against Haspel over claims she oversaw the torture of terrorism suspects. The accusation against her is centered on the case of Saudi national Abu Zubaydah.[40][41][42][43][44]

She said she ordered the destruction of the tapes so that other countries wouldn’t know who the torturers are, but any amateur videographer knows how to edit tape to disguise, this, that, or the other person. I believe there was a lot more on those tapes than she and her ilk admit to.


Torture is a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Same goes for conspiracy to commit torture. If the torture victim dies, which may have happened about a hundred times in the CIA torture program, the death penalty can be applied.