JS: The reason I’m bringing all of this up at this moment is because of the nomination of Gina Haspel to serve as the director of the CIA.
We know that she played a key role in the torture program after 9/11. We know that she was involved in running black sites. We know that she was involved with the destruction of torture tapes. We know that some of her colleagues began referring to her as “bloody Gina.”
And here’s what else we know: Since her nomination by president Trump, the CIA has waged a domestic propaganda operation. Its target? All of us.
The CIA has used its social media platforms, including Twitter, to spin a tale about the legendary career of Gina Haspel, as though she’s some Lara Croft meets Jason Bourne meets Lawrence of Arabia. Here are quotes from just some of the CIA’s tweets about Gina Haspel.
[“Africa” by Toto plays.]
“Haspel’s first overseas assignment was as a case officer in Africa. ‘It was right out of a spy novel. It really didn’t get any better than that.’ She arrived during the closing days of the Cold War and had a front-row seat as the struggle played out.”
“Haspel recalls the initial shock of witnessing grinding poverty & the excitement of carrying out a clandestine mission amid billboards plastered with Marxist-Leninist slogans. She traveled the region, learned to recruit & handle agents, & survived a coup d’état along the way.”
“Haspel’s first posting as a Chief of Station soon followed in an exotic & tumultuous capital.”
“The skepticism of some of her male colleagues was obvious, w comments like, ‘I can’t believe they’re sending you to a place like that.’ She quickly proved doubters wrong.”
“Gina Haspel joined CIA in the waning days of the Cold War & for the past three decades she has quietly devoted herself to serving on the front lines of our mission.”
“She leads with compassion, integrity, discipline, humor.”
All of this is from the CIA’s Twitter feed. They’ve also been retweeting articles with titles like this: “Why, In Their Own Words, CIA Professionals Love Gina Haspel.” They highlight letters from former CIA and military officials supporting her. But they ignore the letters that were written by people raising questions about her past activities.
And then last Friday, the CIA released a memo written by former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell that the agency said cleared her of any wrongdoing regarding the destruction of CIA torture tapes. Even Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is generally a supporter of the CIA, blasted the agency, accusing it of declassifying “only material that’s favorable to Gina Haspel, while at the same time stonewalling our efforts to declassify all documents related to her involvement in the torture program.”
All right, so, what does any of this have to do with the history that I ran through at the beginning? What’s happening right now is that the CIA is actively campaigning and using domestic propaganda in an effort to make sure that a CIA insider, one who has already shown that she is completely in sync with the dirty, bloody business of torture, and kidnapping, is at the head of the agency. It’s a CIA power play aimed at consolidating the authority of the agency and defending its turf.
Gina Haspel is part of the worldview within the CIA that was cultivated, encouraged set in motion by Allen Dulles. Her ascent to the head of the CIA is a coup d’état of sorts that Langley is trying to orchestrate to ensure that its interests are protected by someone who has shown she will do whatever it takes to cover the agency’s ass.