Gina Haspel & Torture: When Negotiating Shouldn’t Be An Option

Ironically, perhaps, there is one thing I will give President Trump credit for when so many on both sides of the great political divide often don’t. By and large, his unconventional methods have given this country a little bit of exactly what it needs. He shakes up the paradigms and decaramelizes the thinking that is often so automatic that I wonder if the people who act like zombies on autopilot even realize there may be unintended or unexpected consequences to their mindlessness. I say that with chagrin because what I mean is his method of communications, not necessarily the resulting policy.

The reality though, is that Mr. Trump suffers a bit from his own routinized ways of thinking, however unconventional it may seem to the general public. Mr. Trump certainly knows how the world “really works,” and for the most part so do I, and I generally assume the you the reader does also.

Gina Haspel is the case in point. Trump’s sensibilities appear to be hard-wired to be the ultimate negotiator – even when it comes to torture. Now, I admit I make some assumptions about Mr. Trump’s knowledge, but I expect that he actually understands that torture is not acceptable simply on the basis of our own humanity, and that knowing how the world “really works” means knowing that torture doesn’t work and it’s really just part of a larger grand illusion. It’s all a big show, right?

Here’s the way I see it, Mr. Trump. Ms. Haspel apparently had some direct involvements in the so-called “black-sites” where the torture that took place was once considered legal. I’m not convinced about the so-called legality, but for this discussion we’ll just go with that. Either way, I have to think a person who is genuinely educated, mature and experienced could not ethically participate in torture. A flunky not exactly directly involved might be excused, but Ms. Haspel was an overseer, not a flunky. She was in charge.

Her argument might be that it was legal and she had a job to do. Yeah, and I guess the prison commandant at Auschwitz could make the same argument. I think there’s a point where personal ethics and morality demand that you simply say no, and if you loose your job then you go looking for something else.

Ms. Haspel didn’t do that. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt, she shouldn’t be on the same path as when she committed what amounts to war crimes. If what she did was technically legal, and she really is a flunky on the inside, and if she acted loyally – then she still needs an opportunity to purge and cleanse her mind and soul from her previous debased indoctrination. She needs time in a new light to find her own humanity.

Gina Haspel is either morally reprobate, or incompetent. She needs reeducation and really shouldn’t be allowed to remain in the CIA much less promoted to Director of the CIA.

And President Trump, maybe you ought to stop and reevaluate your own thinking. Honestly, I don’t really think your all that enthusiastic about being president. You were called, it’s your job, it’s your duty and you honorably responded. I’m not saying act “more presidential” like some. A little bit of irreverence seems to be providing a much needed reality check. What I am saying is maybe there’s a time to show more leadership when negotiating is really contra-indicated. Torture is beneath our great nation.

Revised: On March 18th Senator Rand Paul Tweeted:

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