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'Waterboarding Is Torture': Shep Smith Shreds Haspel's Claim Waterboarding Was Ever Legal

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith completely destroyed Gina Haspel's attempts to defend the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques during her Senate confirmation hearing for CIA Director.
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Fox News anchor Shepard Smith completely destroyed Gina Haspel's attempts to defend the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques during her Senate confirmation hearing for CIA Director.

After playing some of her testimony where she defended getting information from Al Qaeda operatives, Shep said, "That matter is under dispute and others have said they got false information as a result."

"The former undercover agent faced tough questions about her role in a CIA black site in Thailand where interrogators used waterboarding and other torture methods following the attacks of 9/11. Lawmakers also grilled Gina Haspel about her knowledge of why the CIA shredded dozens of videotapes showing agents using torture. Haspel said the recordings showed the faces of undercover spies and that put their lives at risk. A lot of details about the CIA's now-outlawed interrogation program remain classified."

The idea that the CIA could not pixelate faces of all the CIA operatives on those tapes is laughable and a bogus defense against destroying the tapes, especially after federal judges had prohibited the Bush administration from discarding evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before they were destroyed.

Performing those barbaric acts at a black site does not give the CIA cover to destroy any evidence.

Shep continued, "Waterboarding is torture and is not permitted under Army Field Manual guidelines. Torture is illegal under international law. The Supreme Court noted in 2004 that the United States has a historical record as regarding waterboarding as a war crime and has prosecuted individuals for such practice in the past."

Claire Finkelstein and Stephen N. Xenakis write for the NY Times, "[T]he faulty advice of government lawyers and bosses cannot make illegal conduct legal. And C.I.A. investigations that rely on these specious justifications to excuse her decisions should be given no weight."

Damn them all to hell for letting her get away with it.


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