John McCain, the US senator subjected to brutal treatment as a prisoner in North Vietnam, questioned Tuesday the nomination of a CIA official once involved in torture to lead the spy agency.
McCain said Gina Haspel, currently the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, must pledge “without reservation” to oppose the use of torture if she is to be approved as director.
“The torture of detainees in US custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history,” McCain said in a statement.
“Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Haspel, 61, to replace Mike Pompeo, who has been named to take over the State Department after the top US diplomat, Rex Tillerson, was fired.
Haspel, who has had a long career in the CIA’s clandestine service, ran the agency’s “black box” interrogation cell in Thailand after the September 11 attacks.
Two high-profile al-Qaeda detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, were subjected to waterboarding and other torture methods while they were held in the secret prison.
McCain, a navy pilot, was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967. Taken prisoner, his severe injuries weren’t treated and he was repeatedly bound and beaten.
Since then he has steadfastly opposed the use of torture by the US government.
“In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, our government squandered precious moral authority in a futile effort to produce intelligence by means of torture,” McCain said.
“We are still dealing with the consequences of that desperately misguided decision.”
“Current US law is clear in banning enhanced interrogation techniques. Any nominee for director of the CIA must pledge without reservation to uphold this prohibition,” he said.
Woman known for racist rants is finally arrested after assaulting Muslim woman and Black teen
A North Carolina woman known for her racist rants that were captured on video is being accused of attacking a 14-year-old and ripping the hijab off an another woman, the Citizen Times reports.
Rachel Dawn Ruit first received notoriety when she was caught on video yelling racial slurs and threatening people in downtown Asheville. But on July 4, her threats turned physical when she ripped off the hijab from a woman and attacked the 14-year-old, who is Black.
Ernesta Carter witnessed Ruit attack the girl after saying she needed to be "put down" and if she fought back "she would be raped." Ruit then grabbed the girl by the groin, Carter said. When Carter started running towards the altercation, that's when Ruit targeted Nahlah Karimah who was the woman wearing the hijab.
WATCH: Doctor laughs at Trump’s bizarre boast about passing a cognitive test
Arthur Caplan of New York University School of Medicine, who holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools, couldn't help but chuckle when discussing President Donald Trump's recent comments about passing a cognitive test.
"I actually took one very recently when, you know, the radical left was saying, 'Is he all there? Is he all there?' I proved I was all there, because I aced it,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “I aced the test... I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, ‘That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did.'"
Venice completes first test of all flood barriers
Venice's long awaited flood defense system designed to protect the lagoon city from damaging waters during high tides on Friday survived a first test of its 78 barriers.
The massive infrastructure project known as MOSE, which relies on sluice gates that can be raised to protect the city's lagoon during high tides, has been underway since 2003, but has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays.
The complex engineering system uses a network of water-filled caissons, designed to be raised within 30 minutes to create a barrier capable of resisting a water rise of three meters (10 feet) above normal.