'Too tough on terrorists': Trump defends under-fire CIA Director nominee Haspel
"My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists,” Trump tweeted. “Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!"
My highly respected nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel, has come under fire because she was too tough on Terrorists. Think of that, in these very dangerous times, we have the most qualified person, a woman, who Democrats want OUT because she is too tough on terror. Win Gina!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Haspel's nomination has been widely criticized on both sides of the aisle given her record of advocating for and, allegedly overseeing, torture during her time at the CIA and, in particular, her participation in the extraordinary rendition program introduced during the most recent Bush administration.
Her alleged penchant for violence when trying to elicit information from detainees earned her the nickname ‘Bloody Gina,’ according to whistleblower John Kiriakou. Rights groups and retired military personnel have all decried her nomination.
Haspel assumed the role of acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency after former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was confirmed as the new secretary of state following the dismissal of Rex Tillerson on March 31, 2018.
Trump’s comments garnered the now-daily outraged reaction online, with many highlighting the president’s own hypocrisy and failure to recognize the inherent ineffectiveness of torture. Others drew attention to the fact that the majority of Trump’s nominees have proved controversial choices.
This idea that a person is “tough” when they torture people... That’s how terrorists like ISIS think: be vicious, slaughter everything in your path, show no mercy, reject all decency... It’s not how law-respecting states should behave. Do we really want to sink to their level?— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) May 7, 2018
America shouldn’t be torturing people. It’s ineffective anyway, and in most cases they forget valuable information that we could use to apprehend more terrorists. This stuff is complicated, and torture is quite a blunt method.— Some guy in America (@SomeguyinAmeri1) May 7, 2018
How many other law-enforcement officials have come under fire by you rightfully investigating your criminal activities?— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) May 7, 2018
At a meeting Friday, Haspel offered to step aside amid all of the controversy surrounding her nomination to the position, however, her offer was dismissed. The Senate Intelligence Committee will consider Haspel's nomination in a hearing on Wednesday, May 9.
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