MSNBC prides itself for progressive reporting on national security issues but continues to use apologists for the Central Intelligence Agency in reporting on key intelligence issues. The network’s reliance on former deputy director of the CIA John McLaughlin is an excellent example of the skewed and tailored information that it offers to viewers on matters dealing with CIA. McLaughlin, a former colleague of mine at the CIA who I remember as an amateur magician, regularly pulls the wool over the eyes of such MSNBC veterans as Andrea Mitchell.
The most recent example took place over the past several days, when McLaughlin made the case for confirmation of Gina Haspel as the first woman to become director of the CIA. McLaughlin and former CIA directors Leon Panetta and John Brennan referred to Haspel as a “seasoned veteran” who had the support of senior CIA leaders. Perhaps MSNBC should acknowledge the fact that Deputy Director McLaughlin was Haspel’s boss during this terrible period in American history.
Haspel arrived at the CIA in the late 1980s as I was preparing my resignation, but I know from former colleagues that she is also known as “bloody Gina” for her role as a clandestine operative who was a cheerleader for torture and abuse. Her role as a commander of a secret prison in Thailand where waterboarding was practiced and her support for destroying the 92 secret tapes that revealed the sadistic practices of the CIA are well known. These practices went far beyond the practices that were sanctioned in the unconscionable memoranda from the Department of Justice on the euphemistically labeled “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.”
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