[Vision2020] Prosecutors Reviewing Request to Issue Arrest Warrant for Trump’s New CIA Director
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Tue Mar 13 19:52:25 PDT 2018
Prosecutors Reviewing Request to Issue Arrest Warrant for Trump’s New CIA
Federal prosecutors in Munich are currently reviewing a request to issue an
arrest warrant for *Gina Haspel*, President *Donald Trump*‘s recently named
director of the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”).
Haspel currently serves as the deputy director for the CIA and her
nomination to head the agency must be approved by the U.S. Senate. Prior to
her appointment as CIA deputy director, Haspel controversially ran a secret
CIA prison in Thailand used to house, question, and allegedly torture
detainees during the second Bush administration’s War on Terror.
Haspel’s tenure as “Chief of Base” at the prison–and what she did while
serving in that role–is the subject of the arrest warrant request.
On June 6, 2017, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
(“ECCHR”) initiated a request for legal action against Haspel by filing an
intervention with the German Federal Public Prosecutor, the foremost law
enforcement authority in the Federal Republic of Germany
<https://www.generalbundesanwalt.de/de/index.php>. This office is led by
Attorney General *Peter Frank*.
ECCHR’s legal intervention was made by way of a 6-page document titled, “CIA
Torture: Submission on Gina Haspel to German Federal Prosecutor
Immediately after ECCHR submitted their request, Frank’s office confirmed
that this request was received and was being formally reviewed.
According to *Deutsche Welle*
the German equivalent of *PBS*, the investigation into Haspel is presently
ongoing and Frank’s office has yet to rule on ECCHR’s request. ECCHR
reiterated their request in February 2017
Haspel was named deputy director of the CIA. ECCHR’s request was once
on Tuesday <https://twitter.com/ECCHRBerlin/status/973580248494346240>–after
news broke regarding Haspel’s potential promotion.
ECCHR’s request is based on an alleged violation of the European Convention
on Human Rights’ Article 3
<https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf>. This article
prohibits torture and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” There
are no recognized exceptions or limitations on the right not to be subject
to torture under this section.
In a statement, ECCHR’s General Secretary *Wolfgang Kaleck* said:
Those who commit, order or allow torture should be brought before a court –
this is especially true for senior officials from powerful nations. The
prosecutor must, under the principle of universal jurisdiction, open
investigations, secure evidence and seek an arrest warrant. If the deputy
director travels to Germany or Europe, she must be arrested.
The CIA’s torture program has been admitted to by former President *Barack
in official U.S. government reports
various high-level officials
Initially denied, the torture program’s existence and Haspel’s role in said
program are now a matter of public record.
>From 2002 to 2005, Haspel was an active participant in the CIA’s
“extraordinary rendition” program. The term “extraordinary rendition” is a
soft euphemism for the CIA’s illegal kidnapping and torture program
administered at so-called CIA “black sites”—a series of off-the-books
prisons where CIA agents and assets regularly allegedly tortured detainees
over the course of several years.
Haspel’s identity and role in the CIA’s torture program was previously
concealed by its classification regime. However, when Haspel was designated
deputy director of the agency in February 2017, her role in the program
became more clear.
Specifically, Haspel was in charge of the CIA’s “Cat’s Eye,” a secret
prison located in Thailand. Haspel oversaw the daily torture of detained
individuals at Cat’s Eye*.*According to media accounts
and the memoirs of former CIA personnel, Haspel was personally involved in
the torture of one *Zayn Al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn*, also known as *Abu
In July of 2002, Haspel sent the following cable regarding Zubaydah’s
Team is ready to move to the next phase of interrogations immediately upon
receipt of approvals/authorization from ALEC/Headquarters. It is our
understanding that DOJ/Attorney General approvals for all portions of the
next phase, including the water board, have been secured, but that final
approval is in the hands of the policy makers.
Infamously, Zubaydah was then waterboarded at least 83 times. Haspel
allegedly oversaw the two psychologists–Mitchell and *Bruce Jessen*. These
two men “designed the torture techniques and who actually carried out
torture on the prisoners,” according to CIA whistleblower *John Kiriakou*
was prosecuted by the Obama administration for leaking classified
information about the CIA’s torture program.
Eventually, the CIA was forced to admit that Zubaydah was not affiliated
and had never taken up arms against the United States.
Torture is illegal under various international pacts and treaties
to which the U.S. is bound as a state party. Torture is also illegal under
U.S. domestic law
<https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-113C>. On April
16, 2009, then-president *Barack Obama* announced blanket immunity for any
and all U.S. officials engaged in the Bush administration’s torture program
*Law&Crime* reached out to the ECCHR and the German Federal Prosecutor’s
Office for comment and clarification on this story, but no response was
forthcoming at the time of publication. This story will be updated if and
when such information is received.
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
*Editor’s note: Varvara Budetti contributed to this report. Anna Marie and
Alen Becirovic helped with translations.*
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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