CIA Director-designate Gina Haspel faces off with Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If one of your operators were captured, subjected to waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques, which you, I believe, supervise. Would you consider that to be moral since, perhaps, the other entity did not have legal restrictions and good trade craft as you appeared to do when you were involved in it, previously?
GINA HASPEL: Senator, I don't believe the terrorists follow any guidelines or civilized norms or the law. CIA follows the law.
REED: Excuse me, madam. You seem to be saying that you were not following civilized norms and the law or anything else when you were conducting those (inaudible) activities, if that's the analogy you're going to draw.
HASPEL: Senator, I'm sorry, can you -- I can't...
REED: It's very simple. You have an operations officer who is captured. He is being waterboarded. I've asked you, very simply, would you determine that to be immoral and something that should never be done, condoned in any way, shape or form? Your response seems to be that civilized nations don't do it, but uncivilized nations do it -- or uncivilized groups do it.
A civilized nation was doing it until it was outlawed by this Congress.
HASPEL: Senator, I would never obviously support inhumane treatment of any CIA officers. We've lost CIA officers over the years to terrorists, I just gave an example. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed personally killed a Wall Street Journal correspondent and filmed that.
I don't think there's any comparison between CIA officers serving their country, adhering to U.S. law and terrorists who by their very definition are not following anybody's law.