Promoting Criminals, Punishing Whistleblowers (and 33 of the day)
CIA officer John Kiriakou was jailed for exposing the torture program. Now Trump wants to promote CIA officer Gina Haspell, who was a leader in the program after 9/11 and helped cover it up.
Putting Haspel in charge of the CIA would undo attempts by the agency — and the nation — to repudiate torture.
The message this sends to the CIA workforce is simple: Engage in war crimes, in crimes against humanity, and you’ll get promoted. Don’t worry about the law. Don’t worry about ethics. Don’t worry about morality or the fact that torture doesn’t even work. Go ahead and do it anyway. We’ll cover for you.
And you can destroy the evidence, too.
Described in the media as a “seasoned intelligence veteran,” Haspel has been at the CIA for 33 years, both at headquarters and in senior positions overseas.
Now the deputy director, she has tried hard to stay out of the public eye. Mike Pompeo, the outgoing CIA director and secretary of state designee, has lauded her “uncanny ability to get things done and inspire those around her.”
I’m sure that’s true for some. But many of the rest of us who knew and worked with Haspel at the CIA called her “Bloody Gina.”
The CIA will not let me repeat her résumé or the widely reported specifics of how her work fit into the agency’s torture program, calling such details “currently and properly classified.” But I can say that Haspel was a protege of and chief of staff for Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s notorious former deputy director for operations and former director of the Counterterrorism Center. And that Rodriguez eventually assigned Haspel to order the destruction of videotaped evidence of the torture of Abu Zubaida.
Just disgusting. But what else do you expect from CIA torturers?
Also, this is reminiscent of the many people involved in 9/11 who were promoted by the Bush administration, while other 9/11 whistleblowers were suppressed.
Richard Myers, in charge of the Pentagon on 9/11—Promoted
Who was in charge at the Pentagon? Richard Myers, who gave several contradictory accounts of his actions on 9/11, was promoted as a new Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on August 24, 2001 by President Bush. As Jim Hoffman notes, "General Richard Myers was Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11th... As Acting Chairman, Myers was the highest-ranking military official, and the principal military advisor to the President." On 9/11, Myers was in charge because Chairman Henry Shelton was out of the country. Amazingly, just three days after 9/11, following NORAD’s stunning failure to intercept any of the planes on 9/11, he was promoted from Vice-Chairman to Chairman, replacing Henry Shelton. A few months after this second promotion, Myers curiously said that "the goal has never been to get Bin Laden."
Ralph Eberhart, in charge of NORAD on 9/11—Promoted
On a day in which routine procedures should have prevented 9/11 from even happening, the attacks were mirrored in military drills. NORAD commander-in-Chief Ralph Eberhart was asked by the 9/11 Commission if these war games "helped" response to the 9/11 attacks and responded nonsensically, "sir, my belief is that it helped because of the manning, because of the focus, because the crews—they have to be airborne in 15 minutes and that morning, because of the exercise, they were airborne in six or eight minutes. And so I believe that focus helped." This was clearly a ridiculous statement since none of the planes were intercepted during the attacks. What "response" was there at all to the off course aircraft? In fact, there is very strong evidence that these drills coordinated by Dick Cheney hindered response since they moved air defenses away from New York and Washington, added "injects" to radar screens, and created general confusion. Like Richard Myers, Eberhart was promoted shortly after 9/11; "nominated by President Bush to command the... U.S. Northern Command," a new creation of the Department of Defense which Eberhart said was "needed" after the attacks. The lack of response to the aircraft can be clearly seen in the case of the Pentagon strike, which was significantly later than the attacks on the World Trade Center. Norman Mineta reported that a plane was flying towards the Pentagon while in a bunker with Dick Cheney. When an aide periodically reported the incoming aircraft to the Pentagon, he finally asked Dick Cheney "do the orders still stand?" Cheney responded angrily, "of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!?" Despite knowledge of this aircraft by the FAA, Dick Cheney, and NORAD with its superior radar capability, no obvious action was taken to intercept the plane or shoot it down. Instead, while NORAD was nowhere to be seen, a C-130 cargo plane was sent by civilian air traffic controllers to intercept and observe the incoming aircraft from Andrews Air Force Base. This base was 10 miles away from the Pentagon and had fighter jets available on 9/11. Why weren’t fighter jets scrambled to intercept the incoming plane and defend the Pentagon? Were civilian air traffic controllers left in charge of defense and intercepting planes on 9/11 in place of NORAD’s responsibility? Why wasn’t the Pentagon evacuated when the White House was evacuated? Why was Ralph Eberhart promoted?
Captain Charles J. Leidig, acting NMCC Director—Promoted
Captain Charles J Leidig was asked by Brigadier General Montague Winfield the day before 9/11 to take over his responsibilities. Leidig "assumed duties as the Deputy for Command Center Operations in the J3 Directorate of the Joint Staff... responsible for the maintenance, operation, and training of watch teams for the National Military Command Center (NMCC)." In testimony given to the 9/11 Commission, Leidig explained that "the Command Center then became a focal point for coordinating information flow... I convened a conference called a Significant Event Conference. And what that does is that brings leadership and combatant commanders into the conference to start discussing what actions should be taken or might be taken... I... [controlled] the conference that gets all these folks on the phone." Leidig was not reprimanded and was later promoted in 2004 to Admiral.
Brigadier General Montague Winfield—Promoted
Brigadier General Montague Winfield was in charge of the National Military Command Center (NMCC). But as Nick Levis observes, in an amazing coincidence, "Montague Winfield was originally scheduled to be at his command post on morning of Sept. 11. But on Sept. 10, he arranged for his deputy to relieve him the next morning at exactly 8:30 a.m. This turned out to be just eight minutes before the military was alerted to the diversion of the first flight." Winfield’s absence was significant because the NMCC was responsible for coordinating information on the 9/11 attack. In May of 2003, he was promoted to two-star rank of major general. Ben Sliney, in charge of FAA on 9/11—Promoted 9/11 was Ben Sliney’s first day on the job as National Operations Manager, described as "the chess master of the air traffic system." He successfully accomplished the landing of all commercials aircraft—an unprecedented event carried out "flawlessly". But as David Ray Griffin observes, "[is] it plausible that FAA personnel, on the same day that they carried out an unprecedented task so flawlessly, would have failed so miserably with a task that they, decade after decade, had been performing routinely?" While the 9/11 commission attempts to shift the blame away from NORAD to the FAA by completely omitting Laura Brown’s statement and other evidence from their final report, the interception of aircraft was a routine protocol as noted previously. Perhaps it was a bad day to start his job, but Sliney was not reprimanded and was later promoted. Steven Abbot, coordinator of Dick Cheney’s task force on problems of national preparedness—Promoted Admiral Steven Abbot was appointed by Dick Cheney to lead the domestic terrorism task force in June 2001. After 9/11, Abbot was promoted to become deputy director of the office of Homeland Security headed by Tom Ridge in October 2001. Marion (Spike) Bowman, blocked FBI investigations into the alleged hijackers before 9/11—Promoted FBI director Mueller awarded Bowman with a presidential citation and cash bonus of about 25 percent of his salary. Bowman, who was head of the FBI’s National Security Law Unit, was given an award for "exceptional performance" after a 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report claimed that his unit gave Minneapolis FBI agents "inexcusably confused and inaccurate information" that was "patently false." As well, Bowman’s unit "blocked an urgent request by FBI agents to begin searching for Khalid Almihdhar after his name was put on a watch list."
Pasquale D’Amuro, in charge of counterterrorism in New York—Promoted Pasquale D’Amuro, was the FBI’s counterterrorism chief on 9/11 in New York City, and was promoted to the top counterterrorism post after the attack.
Michael Maltbie, the supervisor handling the case at the FBI's Radical Fundamentalist Unit—Promoted
According to FBI Agent Harry Samit, he "wrote FBI headquarters about 70 memos about Moussaoui's likely terrorist plans between his arrest on Aug. 16 and Sept. 11, all to no avail." He was warned by his supervisor Michael Maltbie that pursuing this could be "bad for his career", and that he should not pursue this to "preserve the existence of his advancement potential" in the FBI. Instead of reprimand, Michael Maltbie was promoted to the Joint Terrorism Task Force at the FBI’s Cleveland office after 9/11.
David Frasca, head of the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit—not fired
It has been observed that when it came to the success of the 9/11 attacks, "most roads lead to counterterror chief’ David Frasca", head of the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit. Interestingly, he came into the job a week before 9/11 and was not fired for his performance after the 9/11 attacks. Paul Thompson observes that, "The Phoenix memo, which was addressed to Frasca, was received by his unit and warned that al-Qaeda terrorists could be using flight schools inside the US... Two weeks later Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested while training to fly a 747, but Frasca’s unit was unhelpful when local FBI agents wanted to search his belongings—a step that could have prevented 9/11." Time Magazine reports that, "The Phoenix memo was buried; the Moussaoui warrant request was denied." The New York Times indicates that Frasca, "[threw] up roadblocks" even after 9/11 in the Moussaoui investigation. Apparently, the FBI was so "incompetent", that some of the alleged hijackers lived with an FBI informant without intervention. The Able Danger program similarly identified some of the alleged hijackers. Not only this, some of the alleged hijackers trained on US military airbases.
FBI: "Incompetent" then Suddenly "Competent" after the Attack?
Immediately following the attacks, the FBI suddenly changed from being "incompetent" to very competent. Family member Kristen Breitweiser in testimony to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry asked, "[how] did the FBI know exactly where to go only a few hours after the attacks? How did they know which neighborhoods, which flight schools and which restaurants to investigate so soon in the case? ...How are complete biographies of the terrorists, and their accomplices, created in such short time? Did our intelligence agencies already have open files on these men? Were they already investigating them?" Most of the hijackers were identified within hours of the attacks. While the attack at the Pentagon was not prevented despite observations of an incoming aircraft on radar, videos of the Pentagon strike were taken by the FBI minutes after it happened from multiple locations.
Failures Promoted, Whistleblowers Silenced?
While not one single individual was reprimanded for the 9/11 "failures", many whistleblowers were punished for speaking out. Coleen Rowley, Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Kevin Ryan, and many others were silenced, fired, punished, and ignored for speaking out about what happened behind the scenes before and after the 9/11 attacks. As well, many credible professionals, scientists, professors, and others have expressed their doubts about the 9/11 "official story". The mainstream media has been curiously silent about these facts.