Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Live With Velshi and Ruhle,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he was opposing President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, because she “loved the idea of someone being tortured.”
Paul said, “One of the things I liked about President Trump is he consistently and loudly opposed regime change in Iraq, the Iraq war. He’s appointing people around him that not only support the Iraq war, never learned the lesson that regime change led to instability and chaos in the Middle East. These are people who he’s appointing Pompeo that have advocated for regime change next door. These are not people who support the notion that the Iraq war was misguided.
He continued, “On Mrs. Haspel, if you read her quotes, when she was present during waterboarding, she was gleeful at the waterboarding and sort of gloating at the fact that the guy is acting as he’s struggling to breathe and drowning in fluid. This is not what America stands for. Torture is not what America is about. I have family members in the armed service. I don’t want to send a message to the world that torture is fine. Our young men and women can be captured at some point too. If the whole world thinks America tortures prisoners, they’ll do the same to ours. This is a woman who is a poster child for what went wrong with waterboarding after 9/11. She should never ever be advanced to any position in the CIA.”
He added, “There are many people, if you want a career person, someone who served in the CIA, there are dozens and dozens of people who weren’t involved with waterboarding, not directly involved with torture, that weren’t gleefully showing how much they loved the idea of someone being tortured. I think she’s absolutely disqualified. There are probably dozens of other people, I wouldn’t presume to know the individual names at the CIA, but I think we can find a career person that hasn’t tortured anybody.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN