CIA director nominee Gina Haspel left Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Jack Reed speechless after asking her a hypothetical question about morality during her confirmation hearing Wednesday.
When asked by Reed if she thinks it is “immoral” for our enemies to waterboard a captured CIA operations officer, Haspel responded by reminding Reed of the terrorists who have killed CIA agents and criticized the comparison between a CIA officer serving their country and a terrorist, leaving Reed speechless.
“It’s very simple. You have an operations officer who is captured. He’s being waterboarded. I’ve asked you very simply: would you determine that to be immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way, shape, or form?” Reed asked. “Your response seems to be that civilized nations don’t do it, but uncivilized nations do it — or uncivilized groups do it. A civilized nation was doing it until it was outlawed by this Congress”
After asking the question, Haspel responded by saying she would never support harming any CIA officers and made it clear there is a difference between a CIA officer “and terrorists who, by their very definition, are not following anybody’s law.”
“Senator, I would never obviously support inhumane treatment of any CIA officers. We’ve lost CIA officers over the years to terrorists. I just gave an example. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed personally killed a Wall Street Journal correspondent and filmed it,” Haspel said. “I don’t think there’s any comparison between CIA officers serving their country — adhering to U.S. law — and terrorists who, by their very definition, are not following anybody’s law.”
President Donald Trump nominated Haspel for the position in March. If Congress confirms, she will be the first female CIA director in history.
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