ISSN 2330-717X

Washington, DC: Where Torture Is More Forgivable Than Harassment – OpEd

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Less than a month ago, President Trump’s nominee for the VA head chose to withdraw his name from consideration as allegations mounted—which he vehemently denied—of his having created a “toxic” work environment and assorted other peccadillos. Meanwhile, most of us have lost count of how many members of Congress have resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment of various degrees, some proven, some not, including, for example, Al Franken, who issued this mea culpa:

The first thing I want to do is apologize: to [accuser] Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.

Not good enough, Al.

Yet the Senate now stands poised to confirm the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director. Ms. Haspel has been accused, not by one or two individuals, but by more than 100 military generals and admirals, of directly overseeing torture, and subsequently covering it up and destroying evidence.

And to what do Senators who had earlier expressed opposition to her appointment now attribute their change of heart? Well, it seems she has changed her mind about torture:

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and an influential voice on national security, announced Tuesday he would back Gina Haspel. He cited a new letter in which she said that the agency shouldn’t have undertaken a post-9/11 antiterrorism program that many critics say amounted to torture.—”Gina Haspel Wins Key Democrat’s Backing, Paving Way to CIA Confirmation

Ms. Haspel’s statement:

With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken. The United States must be an example to the rest of the world, and I support that.

Notice that she makes no mention of her role nor makes any apology for it.

It’s hard to avoid drawing the lesson that for career success in DC, small sins are for chumps, while torture, killing of innocents, and mass surveillance garner the big rewards.

Are we ready to withhold our consent to be governed by these moral bankrupts yet?

This article was published by The Beacon


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Mary L. G. Theroux

Mary L. G. Theroux

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of The Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, Ms. Theroux is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.

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