CIA nominee Gina Haspel can't turn back the clock: Kennedy

Potential CIA director Gina Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination to head the spy agency, but the president rebuffed her humble offer. Law enforcement and intel agencies have been in deep yogurt lately as political hacks have had their way with these wilting institutions.

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The deputy attorney general is throwing up roadblocks to Congress trying to shield the special counsel parameter memo, and James Comey and Robert Mueller are proving how much damage you can do when you put your own needs above agency and country.

Do we really need anti-transparency at the CIA led by a careerist whose questionable history is mostly classified? In a word, no. Gina Haspel was the enforcer for Jose Rodriguez, the guy in charge of the post 9/11 enhanced interrogation program. Ms. Haspel reportedly oversaw a blacksite in Thailand that clearly engaged in torture, and then reportedly hatched a plan for her boss to destroy nearly 100 videotapes of questionable torture sessions.

The definition of torture may vary slightly, and the CIA now conveniently disavows it, but when you're chaining humans to ceilings in dark rooms, rectally feeding them and storing them naked in little boxes for days on end, well, it's a lot less than pleasant. It's torture. Those blacksites contain episodes from Haspel's dark past that are begging for congressional light.

Hopefully the rational adults in the room, Republicans and Democrats, will force her to answer questions about that era straightforwardly and not allow her to cower behind her classified shield.

If you're outraged by political surveillance at an agitated FBI and are sick of unaccountable jerks using powerful tools to fuel partisan whims, then you should not stand for the most opaque institution in government being led by an evidence-destroying rationalizer who is not qualified for the job simply because of her gender or love of Johnny Cash.

Gina Haspel can't turn back the clock on the darkest time of her life, but as CIA director she can wind it up again and destroy much more than toxic evidence.