CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel waits for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 9. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Torture, Morality at Heart of Senate Hearing on Trump’s Pick to Head CIA

Gina Haspel dodges questions but appears headed toward narrow confirmation.

Then-Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel speaks at the Office of Strategic Services Society's annual William J. Donovan Award Dinner in 2017. (YouTube/The OSS Society)

A Torturer to Critics, a Consummate Professional to Colleagues

Trump's CIA pick could break the agency's glass ceiling — if she can answer tough questions on interrogation methods.

An Iraqi boy, whose family fled the violence due to the ongoing operation by Iraqi forces against jihadists of the Islamic State group to retake the city of Mosul, eats while waiting on November 3, 2016 at a Kurdish checkpoint, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Mosul.
Some civilians were leaving Gogjali and others the eastern Mosul neighbourhood of Samah, in what may be a rare breach for civilians trapped inside the city. More than 21,000 people have fled to government-held areas since October 17, while thousands more may have been seized by IS for use as human shields, according to the United Nations.

 / AFP / BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

The Kurdish Government Is Torturing Boys

Boys as young as 11, accused of fighting for the Islamic State, are being detained and brutally tortured in prisons.

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA - OCTOBER 22: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.)   Razor wire lines the fence of the "Gitmo" maximum security detention center on October 22, 2016 at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. military's Joint Task Force Guantanamo is still holding 60 detainees at the prison, down from a previous total of 780. On his second day in office in 2008 President Obama issued an executive order to close the prison, which has failed because of political opposition in the U.S.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SitRep: POTUS Says Torture “Works;” DoD and CIA Chiefs Blindsided by Executive Order; Safe Zone in Syria

Secret White House Budget in the Works; North Korea Teetering; Trump’s Unsecure Phone; And Lots More

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security January 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. While at the department, Trump signed two executive orders related to internal security and to begin the process of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Drafts of Trump Orders on Gitmo and Interrogation Spark Fear of Return to 9/11-Era Mindset

The new president is reportedly considering moves to declare Guantanamo open for business and consider a return to “black sites” and enhanced interrogation for new detainees.

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 19:  (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump welcomes retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis as they pose for a photo before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President-elect Trump at the New York Times on waterboarding and Gen. Mattis

I was interested that Trump, by his account, went out of his way to ask General Mattis about the efficacy of torture.


CIA Chief: We Won’t Torture, Even If Ordered To

John Brennan says he'll never go along with waterboarding.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13:  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks about the release of the 2015 Human Rights Report at the State Department Harry S Truman building April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. The State Department's report covers internationally recognized individual, civil, political and workers rights as practiced around the world according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and submits the annual report to Congress.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In Speech on Global Human Rights Abuses, Kerry Attacks Trump

The release of the State Department’s annual report on human rights typically focuses on grotesque abuses and atrocities in far-flung corners of the world. But this year, Secretary of State John Kerry found himself addressing something closer to home: the vigorous endorsement of torture by the leading 2016 Republican presidential candidates.


Trump Flip-Flops on Promise to Torture Suspects, Kill Families of Terrorists

Donald Trump has changed course on his widely-condemned promise to bring back torture and kill families of terrorists.

ADRA, SYRIA:  Syrian prisoners stage a protest and a hunger strike the central prison in Adra, 15 kms from Damascus, in support of President Bashar al-Assad who is facing international pressure over a UN inquiry into the assassination of Lebanese former premier Rafiq Hariri, 16 November 2005. Assad vowed in a speech that Damascus would not surrender to the demands of its enemies and pledged that outsiders would not be able to change Syria's direction.  AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA  (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

How Assad’s Prisoners Die

A new report released by U.N. investigators documents atrocities that took place in Syrian government prisons.

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This Tunisian Wants His Nation to Know Its Torturers

Tunisians have never received a public accounting for the crimes of the old dictatorship. Gilbert Naccache says that must change.


I don’t believe a word of what torture advocates say — and neither should you

News sources are reporting that the long-awaited release of the summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture program is just days away. Thanks to anonymous sources, we already know some of what this summary will say: “enhanced” interrogation techniques (EITS) yielded little, if any significant intelligence, and the CIA misled the government and the public about both the severity of its methods and this program’s success.


Who Killed Islam Salah al-Din Atitu?

The Cairo university student left home to take a final exam. The next day, he turned up in a city morgue, with marks of torture on his body, and police peddling a suspicious story about how he got there.


Mission Unstoppable: Why Is the CIA Running America’s Foreign Policy?

From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the Middle East for years to come.


Watchdogs Say U.S. Turned Blind Eye to Uzbek Abuse

Washington was more focused on securing military aid from Karimov for war in neighboring Afghanistan, human rights advocates say.

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Whatever Happened to Bahrain’s Torture Reforms?

Despite promises of change, abuses by police and security services remain commonplace in the kingdom.


The Women in the Middle of the War

Rampant sexual assault has unmade allegiances in Syria's civil war -- and it may well get worse no matter which side wins.


CIA Director Paints a Gloomy Picture of the World, but a Rosy One of His Spy Agency

John Brennan said fighting terrorism today requires close relationships with foreign spies.


Afghanistan’s U.S.-Funded Torturers and Murderers

The United States continues to fund and support a network of abusive Afghan strongmen in the name of security. It's time to stop.