No Accountability

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readJun 7, 2022

We now have testimoney that Gina Haspel personally supervised torture at CIA black sites.

She was director of the CIA for 3 years after this, and probably still has the highest level security clearance.

The fact that there are never any consequences for the our elites is corrosive to our society:

During Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become director of the C.I.A. in 2018, Senator Dianne Feinstein asked her if she had overseen the interrogations of a Saudi prisoner, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, which included the use of a waterboard.

Ms. Haspel declined to answer, saying it was part of her classified career.

While there has been reporting about her oversight of a C.I.A. black site in Thailand where Mr. Nashiri was waterboarded, and where Ms. Haspel wrote or authorized memos about his torture, the precise details of her work as the chief of base, the C.I.A. officer who oversaw the prison, have been shrouded in official secrecy.

But testimony at a hearing last month in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, included a revelation about the former C.I.A. director’s long and secretive career. James E. Mitchell, a psychologist who helped develop the agency’s interrogation program, testified that the chief of base at the time, whom he referred to as Z9A in accordance with court rules, watched while he and a teammate subjected Mr. Nashiri to “enhanced interrogation” that included waterboarding at the black site.

Z9A is the code name used in court for Ms. Haspel.


Defense teams have been asking military judges to exclude certain evidence from the war crimes trials of accused Qaeda operatives as tainted by not just torture but also cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In May, that meant revisiting what happened nearly 20 years ago at the secret prison in Thailand.


It was previously known that by the time Mr. Nashiri was waterboarded in late 2002, Ms. Haspel had taken over as the chief of base at the secret prison in Thailand. It has also been reported that she drafted cables relating what happened to Mr. Nashiri and what was learned during his interrogations and debriefings.

But Dr. Mitchell’s testimony went further. He testified that the chief of base observed the sessions, though she did not participate in them.

The law firm that employs Ms. Haspel, King & Spalding L.L.P., declined to comment and referred questions to the C.I.A., which also declined to comment.


And although Ms. Haspel’s role as chief of base at the black site in Thailand is widely known, it is still considered a state secret.


At her confirmation hearing, Ms. Haspel pledged not to set up any similar interrogation programs.

Yeah, I guess that THAT makes everything OK. (Not)

She should be in jail, not earning some obscene pay from one of the largest law firms in the world.