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An Open Letter To Those Who Believe Torture Accountability Should Start With First Woman Nominee For CIA Director

Can you think of any men who were held accountable for CIA torture? No, you cannot. That is why deputy CIA director Gina Haspel should be the agency’s next director.

There were many men involved in the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program, which involved torture. A few of them back Haspel for CIA director because they recognize how sexist it is to demand accountability when they escaped consequences and were able to to go on tour with their books that are destined to populate the shelves of Goodwill thrift stores forever.

Several Democratic senators and human rights organizations insist on scapegoating Haspel, even though she said she would oppose an order from President Donald Trump to restore the torture program.

Haspel’s words are apparently not good enough because she is a woman who helped cover up torture instead of a dude who helped cover up torture.

Absolutely it was wrong for Haspel to destroy videotapes of interrogations, but let’s not forget that was a man’s decision. Jose Rodriguez, the head of the CIA’s clandestine service who wore the big boy pants, gave the order. Haspel went along with it (because evidently feminism has not come to the CIA yet).

Thought experiment (in full compliance with the Geneva Conventions): Imagine if Haspel had male genitalia or even chose to identify as a man, which liberals would support because they believe anyone can be whatever gender they want. Certainly, Haspel would not be put through the same gauntlet of questions. Congress would not bother with oversight because the CIA would find some sophisticated way to obstruct them.

Come to think of it, if Haspel was a transgender person, it would clearly be groundbreaking for the LGBTQ community. When would this country ever have a chance to confirm a pro-torture transgender person for CIA director again?

Bottom line: Shouldn’t a woman who has been to the dark side be able to add to her sterling résumé of depravity and rise to the top of an agency like nothing ever happened? 

What happened to moving forward without looking backward?

There should be no double standard on women when it comes to getting away with crimes and coverups of those crimes.

Fortunately, ten senators on the Senate intelligence committee recognized that equality starts with confirming “Bloody Gina,” who deserves a chance to commit a new cycle of immoral acts just like past male directors.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."