Torturer and coverup artist Gina Haspel tried to bow out of CIA Directorship to avoid Senate questioning

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Does the CIA have any successes under its belt?

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Who has the authority to order “enhanced” questioning at a Senate confirmation hearing?


Well TBH, if history of the agency is any indication, a torturer with a penchant for destroying evidence sounds exactly like the best possible CIA director


That depends on how you define “success”.

I found this interesting Truman quote recently, BTW:

Excerpt from's%20CIA%20article.html



They do, but they can’t tell you about them. Otherwise, the currently active sucesses might well be turned into something else.

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My bedtime reading lately is “Legacy of Ashes”, a history of the CIA. As far as I can tell, the answer is no, they have always been incompetent cowboys who get everything wrong, even the very obvious.

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It got a bad review in Studies in Intelligence.


Let’s just say, that one quote by Churchill comes to mind:
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they’ve tried everything else.


That Truman piece is amazing. It is exactly how I feel–they should be involved in intelligence gathering, and their operational arm should go away.

The phrase “lost the plot” is a pretty apt description of the CIA’s operations. They may achieve a lot of tactical successes (like using a drone to kill some random opponent in Yemen), but I’m pretty convinced that every tactical success they achieve sets our country back strategically. And also, those tactical successes are just as likely to be locals exploiting the CIA’s bloodlust in minor regional power struggles, so they’re only tactical successes in the CIA’s paperwork.


Even in Hollywood most movies involving the CIA are about a heroic CIA agent who has to stop an evil scheme orchestrated by a rogue CIA agent.


Yes, but that’s where it counts.
If you’re part of the bureaucracy that is the CIA. And want to advance within that bureaucracy.

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Unless we’re talking about the other CIA (which is actually older than that CIA).

Edited to eradicate a mispeling.


Yup. And not just in the CIA.



Acting Director Haspel is a highly qualified nominee who has dedicated over three decades of service to her country,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in response to a request for White House comment.

“Her nomination will not be derailed by partisan critics who side with the ACLU (rights organization) over the CIA on how to keep the American people safe,” he added.

CIA vs ACLU. One’s a staunch defender of American values, and one’s a terrorist organization. (Are your They Live! sunglasses on or off?)


A clue:


The Factbook is OK.


One of the interesting things in “Legacy of Ashes” is its description of how the CIA has always been vulnerable to being fed false information. I was familiar with the Ahmed Chalabi nonsense, and found it difficult to believe anyone could take that huckster seriously, but this is the way the CIA has been from the very beginning, and Afghanistan is no exception. It makes sense if you consider the people involved to be only interested in the fantasy of success, any actual success is immaterial, because they’re not attempting to produce a better world, they’re just interested in posturing as bad-ass assassins.

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She had been in a meeting with her staff at CIA headquarters in Langley, fielding mock questions to prepare for her confirmation hearing

Where I come from, I am pretty sure that would be considered unethical use of government resources and staff.


One can only hope that the punditry/editorialists are prepared for the current tedious riposte from the right: (1) flip through the scrapbook of progressive issues, (2) discover something which can be shoehorned into a word-salad accusing the left of hypocrisy, (3) hit that hard by repetition.

So of course in the case of Gina Haspel it’ll go: The left is all in favor of equal rights for women, but they’re worse than any! because Gina worked hard to rise in a male dominated …etc etc repeat endlessly in the answer to any question however unrelated.

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