Democrat Asks Haspel if It’s ‘Immoral’ to Waterboard Terrorists — She Doesn’t Back Down

Gina Haspel, who could soon become the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, grilled Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) Wednesday after he asked if it’s “immoral” to waterboard terrorists.

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Essentially, Reed asked President Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director if she would classify the waterboarding of one of her own operatives as “immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way, shape, or form.”

“Your response seems to be that civilized nations don’t do it but uncivilized nations do it — or uncivilized groups do it,” Reed told Haspel. “A civilized nation was doing it until it was outlawed by this Congress.”

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But in Haspel’s mind, the equation is like comparing apples and oranges. Terrorists, she implied, don’t operate within the realm of morality and certainly aren’t beholden to any kind of rules or regulations.

With that reality in mind, waterboarding — which, as Reed noted, has since been outlawed — was used in the past because terrorists would listen to no moral reasoning. 

“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,” Haspel explained to the senator.

Moments before, the nominee made clear she would “obviously” never “support inhumane treatment of any CIA officers,” reminding Reed that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was consequently waterboarded nearly 200 times, killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2007.

Reed, for his part, had nothing to say in response.

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