The endorsement of CIA director nominee Gina Haspel by Mike Morell (“Senators demand more on CIA nominee’s past,” March 17, 2018) raises the issue of what level of malfeasance we will tolerate from public officials.
Morell himself reluctantly acknowledged that he knowingly allowed CIA intelligence findings to be misrepresented by the Bush administration and used as a primary justification for the Iraq War. Jay Bybee and John Yoo of the Justice Department provided legal cover for, by any reasonable definition, torture. Gina Haspel participated in torture-related activities.
Yet, the most disturbing development for me, as a Spokane psychologist, was when I learned that a specific program of “enhanced interrogation” was developed by two peers of sorts, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The program was found to be ineffective and abusive by the Senate Intelligence Committee and proved to be a major embarrassment to the profession of psychology. However, given the severe consequences of their actions, there has been minimal accountability for any of these individuals, let alone the likes of Wolfowitz and Cheney.
Even the dark side should have its limits.