Friday, August 10, 2018
Gina Haspel was confirmed by the Senate to be director of the CIA on May 17th. But the public never got to see the memos that she wrote and authorized about the brutal torture of Al Qaeda suspects at a CIA black site that she oversaw in Thailand in 2002. Until now.
The National Security Archive filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the cables on April 16, 2018, after the world learned that President Trump had nominated Gina Haspel for the top job at the CIA. The Archive only learned about the cables from a footnote in the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report, which declassified in 2014. The Archive requested expedited processing for the FOIA request, a special provision of the FOIA law meant for when documents are clearly in the public interest. Expedited processing was denied and Haspel was confirmed by the Senate before they could be released.
The National Security Archive filed a lawsuit and won, leading to today's release of the documents from 2002. And despite being heavily redacted, they're pretty shocking, both for their explicit descriptions of torture, and their sometimes grotesquely poetic language to describe the scene.
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