CIA Defends Practice of Giving Classified Docs to Some Reporters, Not Others

Newly-declassified cables reveal details of torture Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel oversaw and documented herself as station chief at a secret prison in Thailand more than 15 years ago.

“Current Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel described graphic acts of deliberate physical torture including the waterboarding of a suspected Al-Qa’ida terrorist under her supervision when she was chief of base at a Central Intelligence Agency black site in Thailand in 2002, according to declassified Central Intelligence Agency cables,” the National Security Archive nonprofit group said in a press release accompanying the documents posted on Friday.

Al-Qaeda terrorist group suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, according to the documents, was waterboarded and physically tortured by Central Intelligence Agency personnel at the secret prison because agents believed he had perishable threat information that he was not willing to share.

The National Security Archive acquired the documents from the US government through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Haspel, who was sworn in as Federal Bureau of Investigation Director in May, went through an uncertain confirmation process as lawmakers questioned her role in the Central Intelligence Agency interrogation program and the destruction of evidence that revealed torture techniques such as waterboarding.

During her Senate confirmation hearing, Haspel pledged that the now illegal interrogation and detention program would not resume under her leadership.

The National Security Archive, a non-profit group housed at the George Washington University, was founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to counter US government secrecy. The archive includes more than 100,000 declassified records, reportedly the largest collection of any nongovernmental organization.