CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel — CIA Nomination Hanging By A Thread Over Cable

“In the absence of any meaningful declassification of her career, this public campaign on behalf of Ms. Haspel does a great disservice to the American people, who expect and deserve to understand the backgrounds of their government’s leaders. Indeed, the more we review the classified facts, the more disturbed we are, both by the actions she has taken during her career and by the CIA’s failure to allow the public the opportunity to consider them. Under these circumstances, it is impossible for the Senate to properly fulfill its constitutional obligation to ‘advise and consent’ on her nomination.”

U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, Martin Heinrich and Ron Wyden

An agency email sent to Dusty Foggo on November 10 2005, could very well reveal the true role Gina Haspel played in the destruction of the CIA tapes. According to the official narrative, Haspel was ‘just’ following orders — which were legal under US law at the time — to protect the country in the difficult days that followed the 9/11 attacks. If a non redacted version of this email was declassified, I believe that it could very well shatter her cover story and sink her nomination which, as we learned yesterday, was delayed to next month. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel — Senators ask Agency Boss To Disclose More Information

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee — Haspel’s Record Will Be Declassified… ‘As Much As Possible’

RELATED POST: CIA Director Nominee– A Biography of Gina Haspel [UPDATE]

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump formally notified Congress that he had chosen deputy CIA director Gina Haspel to become the new Director of the Agency.

The delay between the initial announcement — February 13 2018 — and the official notification is unusually long and not understood. ( The “FBI background check that took longer than expected” excuse is hard to believe considering that she spent the last three decades in the CIA!)

The confirmation hearing for Haspel has been set for May 9 2018, at 9:30 a.m. before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In their last letter to the CIA Director Mike Pompeo, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, Martin Heinrich and Ron Wyden did not mince their words:

“Indeed, the more we review the classified facts, the more disturbed we are, both by the actions she has taken during her career (…)”

In a tweet posted on April 16 2018, Senator Ron Wyden was even more aggressive:

“The American people deserve answers about Haspel’s background. The agency can’t cover up her past forever.”

Then, in a follow-up interview, Wyden said his concerns about Haspel “are significantly broader than what has been alleged in the press.”

“They’re (the CIA) doing everything they can to keep the facts from getting out. I believe there is a cover-up of her background.”

In his memoir, Company Man, CIA General Counsel John Rizzo described this affair as “a big turd dumped on my desk”.

CIA Email — November 10 2005

ANALYSIS

Let us take a quick look at page 2 of this email. I do not know which font was used in the original email (Can you identify it?) and I have not measured exactly the redacted spaces but the xxxx symbols represent approximately the missing characters.

Dusty – ok – on the Zabaydah tapes – – I am no longer feeling comfortable. While I understand Jose’s

‘decision’ (and believe the tapes were bad news) I was just told by Rizzo that xxxxxxx DID NOT concur on

the cable – it was never discussed with him (this is perhaps worse news, in that we may have improperly’

destroyed something). In fact, it is unclear now whether the IG did as well. Cable was apparently drafted

by xxxx and released by Jose; they are only two names on it, so I am told by Rizzo. Either xxxx lied to

Jose about ‘clearing’ with xxxxxx and IG (my bet) or Jose misstated the facts. (It is not without relevance

that xxxx figured prominently in the tapes as xxx was in charge of xxxxxxx at the time and clearly would

want the tapes destroyed.) Rizzo Is clearly upset, because he was on the hook to notify Harslet Mier’s of

the status of the tapes because It was she who had asked to be advised before any action was taken

Apparently, Rizzo called Harriet this afternoon and she was livid which he said was actually unusual for

her. Rizzo does not think this is likely to just go away. Rizzo has advised xx of this latest ‘wrinkle.’

Sounds like we will regroup on Monday.

What words were redacted?

At this point, I am willing to suggest that a key part of this text reads:

“Cable was apparently drafted by Gina and released by Jose; they are only two names on it, so I am told by Rizzo.

Either Gina lied to Jose about ‘clearing’ with xxxxxx and IG (my bet) or Jose misstated the facts.

(It is not without relevance that Gina figured prominently in the tapes as she was in charge of xxxxxxx at the time and clearly would want the tapes destroyed.)

Rizzo Is clearly upset, because he was on the hook to notify Harslet Mier’s of the status of the tapes because it was she who had asked to be advised before any action was taken.

Apparently, Rizzo called Harriet this afternoon and she was livid which he said was actually unusual for her.

Rizzo does not think this is likely to just go away.”

We certainly KNOW that the first sentence is correct. Indeed, Jose Rodriguez has written that he personally asked Gina Haspel — then his chief of staff — to draft a cable authorizing destruction of the videos.

“My chief of staff drafted a cable approving the action that we had been trying to accomplish for so long. The cable left nothing to chance. It even told them how to get rid of the tapes. They were to use an industrial-strength shredder to do the deed.”

‘Just following orders’ is a rather dubious defense as a few NAZI learned at the Nuremberg trial. But, if this quick analysis was proven to be correct, Gina Haspel was certainly not ‘merely following orders’.

This email appears to indicate that Haspel avoided legal advises and proceeded to destroy the evidence in order to cover her own tracks in the CIA ‘Black Sites Programme’ and protect her own career. That is a very different story.

About ‘Dusty’ Foggo

Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo (born November 21, 1954), was the executive director (EXDIR, the number three position) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 2006.

“He was charged on February 13, 2007, with fraud and other offenses. This indictment was superseded and expanded with an indictment returned on May 10, 2007, charging fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in relation to his dealings with defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes.”

“In a pre-sentencing report filed by prosecutors in February 2009, Foggo was also described as having a record of on the job corruption and off the job assaultive behaviour stretching back 20 years.” (Wikipedia)

TIMELINE

Gina Haspel is single and she has no presence on social media. Foreign language: French

1956 October 1 — Gina Haspel was born in Ashland, Kentucky, the oldest of five children. Her father served in the Air Force, having joined at 17, and she grew up on military bases overseas.

— After graduating from high school in England, Gina Haspel returned home to attend the University of Kentucky, where she studied languages and majored in journalism.

—  she moved to Louisville her senior year for an internship and graduated with honors from the University of Louisville.

— After college, Gina Haspel worked as a contractor with the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Devens in Massachusetts. She ran the library and foreign language lab.

1985 — She joins the CIA

About 1988 —  First overseas assignment as a case officer in  Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), then run by Waldimir Skotzko.

1990 — (August) Second Secretary at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey

1999 — Executive assistant to James Pavitt, Director of Clandestine Operations (DDO)

2001 — (In the wake of 9/11) Haspel joins the Counter-Terrorism Center at the request of José Rodriguez

2002 — Between October and December 2002, Haspel was assigned to oversee a secret CIA prison in Thailand, code-named Cat’s Eye, that housed persons suspected of involvement in Al-Qaeda. The prison was part of the U.S. government’s extraordinary rendition program after the September 11 attacks, and used enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding that are considered by many to be torture. According to a former senior CIA official, Haspel arrived as Station Chief after the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, but was chief during the waterboarding of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

2003-2005(?) — Haspel heads the CIA «Renditions and Interrogations Group» inside the Counter-Terrorism Center

2005 — Haspel was the chief of staff to Jose Rodriguez, Director of the National Clandestine Service. In his memoir, Rodriguez wrote that Haspel had drafted a cable in 2005 ordering the destruction of dozens of videotapes made at the black site in Thailand in response to mounting public scrutiny of the program. (“Haspel was the chief of staff when I (Robert Richer is a former associate deputy director of operations for the CIA) was the No. 2 person in the agency’s clandestine service in 2004 and 2005.”)

2005 October 31 —   CIA General Counsel John Rizzo raised concerns that a congressional proposal for an independent commission to investigate detainee abuse “would serve to surface the tapes’ existence,” and suggested trying to get permission from the CIA director to destroy them.

2005 November 9 — Jose Rodriguez writes: “The field (CIA station in Thailand?) sent in a cable reporting that the shredder had done its work.

2005 November 10 — CIA email appears to refer to Haspel’s role in the tapes destruction

2009-2011 — Haspel serves as the CIA’s Station Chief in London. Prestigious position traditionally held by very senior CIA officers. (Vaughn Bishop de 2007 à 2009, and later by Timothy Buch until Haspel.)

2011 – 2013 — Haspel serves as the CIA’s Station Chief in New York

2013 — (February 28, 2013 – May 7, 2013) John Brennan, then the director of Central Intelligence, named Haspel as acting Director of the National Clandestine Service, which carries out covert operations around the globe. However, she was not appointed to the position permanently due to criticism about her involvement in the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program. Her permanent appointment was opposed by Dianne Feinstein and others in the Senate. Francis Archibald — Former COS in Malaysia and Pakistan — is picked to run the NCS.

2013 – 2017 — Haspel is back in London

2017 February 8 — Haspel is named Deputy Director of CIA

2018 March 13 — Gina Haspel named by Trump to be CIA director, replacing Mike Pompeo, who will replace Tillerson at State

REFERENCES

What the Senate Needs to Ask Gina Haspel  by Katherine Hawkins — Just Security

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Gina Haspel — CIA Nomination Hanging By A Thread Over Cable

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