For Gina Haspel, a Glass of Water is Always Full

When the political climate was right, after the 9/11 attacks, CIA executive Gina Haspel gleefully supervised the torture of detainees who still remain uncharged by any court with any crime. Now she’s Trump’s nominee for CIA director. The climate is less pro-torture, so she’s telling Congressional interrogators not that she won’t torture, but that she thinks the CIA shouldn’t interrogate suspects. Which is not even close to the same thing.

41 thoughts on “For Gina Haspel, a Glass of Water is Always Full

  1. “Whitey On TheElection days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues. Bernie Sanders
    Read more at:

    Bernie Sanders now has one thing in common with the millionaires and billionaires and other 1 percenters he so frequently attacked on the campaign trail: he now owns his very own summer home.

    Vermont magazine Seven Days reported Tuesday that the 74-year-old senator and his wife, Jane Sanders, have purchased a four-bedroom house on the shore of Lake Champlain for roughly $600,000. Jane told Seven Days that they had recently sold a house in Maine that had belonged to her family since the 1900s, and used the proceeds to purchase the new property, which is located in North Hero (population 803, as of the 2010 census). With this purchase, Sanders now owns at least three houses, the others being in Burlington, VT, and Capitol Hill in D.C.

    Sanders, an outspoken advocate for the working class who spent his 2016 presidential primary campaign railing against income inequality, remains one of the poorer members of Congress, and his net worth is among the lowest in the Senate. His 2014 tax returns revealed that he and Jane made $205,617 that year, the bulk of which came from Sanders’s $174,000 Senate salary. (Jane, who previously made about $160,000 a year as the president of Burlington College, retired in 2011.) Technically, Bernie’s salary places him in the top 4 percent of income earners, enough to purchase a nice lakefront retirement property with plenty leftover to buy “Feel the Bun” sandwiches from the local Hero’s Welcome General Store:

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had a surprisingly good financial year in 2016. While the Democratic socialist was warning against the concentration of wealth in the hands of “the top 1 percent,” he was also joining their ranks.

    Though his annual income of $200,000 still makes him one of the least wealthy senators, “the former Democratic presidential candidate made some $858,750 off book royalties alone last year,” Newsweek reports. “Combined with his Senate salary, he likely cleared $1 million in earnings.”

    That would place Sanders — whose website says that “the issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time” — in the unusual position of being among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S.

  2. “Whitey On The Moon”

    A rat done bit my sister Nell
    With Whitey on the moon
    Her face and arms began to swell
    And Whitey’s on the moon

    I can’t pay no doctor bills
    But Whitey’s on the moon
    Ten years from now I’ll be paying still
    While Whitey’s on the moon

    You know, the man just upped my rent last night
    Cause Whitey’s on the moon
    No hot water, no toilets, no lights
    But Whitey’s on the moon

    I wonder why he’s uppin’ me?
    Cause Whitey’s on the moon?
    Well i was already given him fifty a week
    And now Whitey’s on the moon

    Taxes takin’ my whole damn check
    The junkies make me a nervous wreck
    The price of food is goin up
    And if all that crap wasn’t enough
    A rat done bit my sister nell
    With Whitey on the moon

    Her face and arms began to swell
    And Whitey’s on the moon

    With all that money i made last year
    For Whitey on the moon
    How come I ain’t got no money here?
    Hmm, Whitey’s on the moon

    You know I just about had my fill
    Of Whitey on the moon
    I think I’ll send these doctor bills
    airmail special
    (To Whitey on the moon)

  3. “If we behave like those on the other side, then we are the other side. Instead of changing the world, all we’ll achieve is a reflection of the one we want to destroy.”
    ― Jean Genet, The Balcony

  4. “Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . .

    History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

    My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . .

    There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .

    And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .

    So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”

    ― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  5. «I am your Mr. Miyagi.» Rather, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick», you are the subject of the well-known Japanese aphorism : 馬鹿に付ける薬は無い….

    But what can one expect of a troll with an IQ of 50 ?…


    • Pond scum eyes
      I understand how aroused you are due to the Japanese giant wooden penis festival. They are close enough to German for your pants to drop and your cheeks to spread.
      Mr.Miyagi was Okinawan.
      Please stop quoting Japanese pop love songs to me.
      I know it rips your heart to bits that I can not return your fervent love and desperate need.
      Here is a picture of Granny Macron. Feel free to glue it to a pillow, or watermelon, and use it as you need.

      • «Please stop quoting Japanese pop love songs to me.» My dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick» it would take someone with the IQ of 50 that you possess to confuse the aphorism I cited earlier with a «Japanese pop love song». But what can one expect of someone firmly ensconced in the left tail of the Gaussian curve that described the distribution of the results of IQ testing in a population ?… 😉


      • «Your protestations and demands for my attentions only hurt you in the end.» As ever, my dear «[StupidWizardGlick]» your only defence is that of projecting your desires and fears onto others. But again, nothing else can be expected of a fatuous troll with an IQ of 50…. 😉


  6. I’m guessing Rall will never do a creepy Eric Schneiderman toon.. Most likely he is a Democrat supporting the faux Socialist Sanders.
    Thus we will see only Trump toons.
    Nothing about the guy who beats women and wants his Black gf to call him master.

      • So where is the Schneiderman toon or article.
        This guy was in politics for decades and is a complete violent racist freak. It’s not like his kink developed overnight.
        The party knew.
        I’m starting to believe the Comet Pizza stories.
        Why the Trump Republican attacks all the time, and honestly the law suit thing is starting to remind me of Lenny Bruces later work. “Despite his prominence as a comedian, Bruce appeared on network television only six times in his life.[46] In his later club performances, Bruce was known for relating the details of his encounters with the police directly in his comedy routine. These performances often included rants about his court battles over obscenity charges, tirades against fascism and complaints that he was being denied his right to freedom of speech”.

      • Universal Justice is Infinitely Demanding, to use the words of Simon Critchley.

        If injustice still exists (and it does) you share in the blame, because you as a finite being still exist (and you do).

        In the face of the infinitely demanding you have withheld your All (otherwise your finite existence would have been extinguished in support of the infinitely demanding).

        Please post your suicide note denoting your act of supreme justice prior to giving your All so that your supreme sacrifice might be noted.

        Hypocritically calling out others (while denying your own complicity) by withholding your own All Consuming Action accomplishes little but self-promotion.

      • Many worlds implies there are an infinite number of universes where everything possible already exists.Thus in some universe I have already heroically given my life.In this universe those who fear for climate change simply refuse to mass suicide thus allowing impoverished children the chance to live a few years longer.
        Myself I beleive in WU WEI.
        You went a little dark there Glenn. Maybe some meds would help.
        You know who Leonard Peltier is, right? Yet you have not pulled the old Seppuku.
        What about Lavoy Finicum, Ruby Ridge, WACO, Rudy Ray Rector? Where is your own noble death in the face of injustice?
        Sniff, sniff, is that hypocrisy in the air?
        Are you henri being a Henri?
        “Critchley argues philosophy begins not in wonder, but disappointment. The two major forms of disappointment that he deals with are religious and political. Religious disappointment raises the question of meaning and has to, as he sees it, deal with the problem of nihilism. Political disappointment provokes the question of justice and raises the need for a coherent ethics”

        Stinks of being a derivitive blowhole. Or maybe he just likes ripping off Eastern philosophy and rebranding it for the stupid masses. You know how all those young people deny Christianity yet embrace Satanism, and GAIA worship.
        Heed tthe wisdom of Lou Reed “You know, some people got no choice
        And they can never find a voice
        To talk with that they can even call their own
        So the first thing that they see
        That allows them the right to be
        Why they follow it
        You know, it’s called bad luck”

        I think posting Dylans It’s alright ma would be too much and your head would explode.
        Unless you already thrust your head through the hanging rope, not for erotic purposes, and kicked out the chair. Then these words will fall on deaf ears.
        Unless you are Henri, then stop stalking me.

      • Glenn (or Henri)
        I’m a Gnostic Pantheist with strong Taoist tendencies.I’m also partial to Tengrism and Sufi mysticism.
        Many worlds theory also salves my heart.
        The universe works just fine, all is illusion.
        “According to an ancient story, there once lived a king in a Middle Eastern land. The king was continuously torn between happiness and agony. The smallest things could make him really upset or give him an intense emotional reaction, so his happiness easily turned into disappointment and despair.

        One day the king got tired of himself and started seeking a way out. He sent for a wiseman living in his kingdom. The wiseman was reputed for being enlightened. When he arrived, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you bring me something that gives balance, peace and serenity in my life? I will pay whatever price you like.” The wiseman replied, “I may be able to help you, but the price is so great that not even your kingdom would be enough payment for it. Therefore I will give it to you as a gift, if you will honor it.” The king gave his assurances, and the wiseman left.

        A few weeks later he returned, and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box, and found a simple gold ring inside. The inscription on the ring read, “This, too, shall pass.” “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wiseman replied, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch the ring and read the inscription. That way, you will ”
        always be at peace.”

        One day, while Nasreddin was visiting the capital city, the Sultan took offense to a joke that was made at his expense. He had Nasreddin immediately arrested and imprisoned; accusing him of heresy and sedition. Nasreddin apologized to the Sultan for his joke, and begged for his life; but the Sultan remained obstinate, and in his anger, sentenced Nasreddin to be beheaded the following day. When Nasreddin was brought out the next morning, he addressed the Sultan, saying “Oh Sultan, live forever! You know me to be a skilled teacher, the greatest in your kingdom. If you will but delay my sentence for one year, I will teach your favorite horse to sing.”

        The Sultan did not believe that such a thing was possible; but his anger had cooled, and he was amused by the audacity of Nasreddin’s claim. “Very well,” replied the Sultan, “you will have a year. But if by the end of that year you have not taught my favorite horse to sing, then you will wish you had been beheaded today.”

        That evening, Nasreddin’s friends were allowed to visit him in prison, and found him in unexpected good spirits. “How can you be so happy?” they asked. “Do you really believe that you can teach the Sultan’s horse to sing?” “Of course not,” replied Nasreddin, “but I now have a year which I did not have yesterday; and much can happen in that time. The Sultan may come to repent of his anger, and release me. He may die in battle or of illness, and it is traditional for a successor to pardon all prisoners upon taking office. He may be overthrown by another faction, and again, it is traditional for prisoners to be released at such a time. Or the horse may die, in which case the Sultan will be obliged to release me.”
        “Finally,” said Nasreddin, “even if none of those things come to pass, perhaps the horse can sing.”

      • «I’m a Gnostic Pantheist with strong Taoist tendencies. … perhaps the horse can sing.”» What a long-winded, pleonastic way of saying that you are a bombastic ignorant buffoon with an IQ of 50. But my dear, «[Stupid]WizardGlick», we already knew that ; why wear yourself out by posting these silly superfluities ?… 😉


      • @EWG

        “Many worlds implies there are an infinite number of universes where everything possible already exists.Thus in some universe I have already heroically given my life.”

        And a universe where Ted has already posted the cartoon you are trying to shame him into posting.

        So you see, there is nothing to do because everything has already been done.

        Bur seriously, see “The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time” by the American theoretical physicist Lee Smolin and the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger.

  7. The optimist sees the glass as half-full, the pessimist as half-empty, and the engineer as over-designed.

    We’ve got a lot of people in government who seem to believe that waterboarding is just fine. The same people have a tendency to withhold secrets from the people they claim to represent. Am I the only person who sees a chance to kill two birds with one stone?

    • Waterboard presidential debates.

      Let those who favor waterboarding be waterboarded.

      Let those opposed not be waterboarded.

      Many, many years ago, while living in a barracks, someone squirted me with a water bottle while I was asleep.

      I assumed he thought that was funny and asked him if I was correct.

      So I showed him what I thought was funny: I shoved the nozzle of his water bottle up his nose and laughed as he appeared to be drowning in a few ounces of water.

      I have always amazed myself at my creative inventive inspirations when involved in a physical altercation.

      • “I shoved the nozzle of his water bottle up his nose and laughed as he appeared to be drowning in a few ounces of water”

        You cleaned his sinuses?

      • Yes.

        I flushed his sinus debris all the way back into his lungs.

        He had much to cough up afterwards in order to catch his breath.

        I never submit to hazing.

      • It was much safer than breaking his feet or stabbing him in the ass as Turks do.


    Before Obama even took office, he announced his belief that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards” on torture. That set the standard for Obama’s tenure, as all avenues of accountability for Bush-era torture were curtailed. A Justice Department inquiry into interrogators who broke even the “acceptable torture” guidelines ended with no charges. Civil lawsuits from former detainees were blocked when the Obama-era Justice Department invoked the state secrets doctrine. An internal Justice Department review of the torture memo’s authors concluded they had not committed professional misconduct when they worked backwards to justify the Bush administration’s use of torture in defiance of laws against it. Even a proposal for a South African-style “truth and reconciliation” commission was rejected. All avenues for any form of accountability for torture—criminal, civil, even professional—were blocked by Obama-era officials. Even an episode in which the CIA spied on Senate staff in an effort to stonewall an inquiry that ultimately found CIA torture ineffective, and then lied about having done so, ended with little more than an apology.

    Democrats responded to Haspel’s nomination in this vein. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who railed against the CIA for attempting to stymie the Senate investigation into the agency’s torture program, and reportedly blocked a promotion for Haspel in 2013, said that Haspel had been “a good deputy director of the CIA.” Democrats are often loath to antagonize intelligence agencies, a quality their Republican colleagues do not share. Republicans once widely regarded the idea of investigating torturers as Obama’s “banana-republic notion of investigating his political rivals”; they have spent the last year demanding the investigation of Trump’s political rivals.

    The Obama administration’s actions helped entrench a standard of accountability that stretches from beat cops to CIA officials, one in which breaking the law in the line of duty is unpunishable, but those suspected of a crime—particularly if black, Muslim, or undocumented—can be subjected to unspeakable cruelty whether or not they are ultimately guilty. After all, these are public servants who have committed their lives to protecting Americans. Why should they be punished for being overzealous? But this logic is entirely backward. It is precisely because they are imbued with such power and authority that accountability is necessary. The public is not served by lawlessness in those to whom it grants power over matters of life and death. The logic of the war on terror, that no act of brutality carries a cost that is too dear to pay, is one that erases all distinctions between right and wrong. By “looking forward,” Obama has allowed Trump to look backward.

  9. Other Losses is a 1989 book by Canadian writer James Bacque, in which Bacque alleges that U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower intentionally caused the deaths by starvation or exposure of around a million German prisoners of war held in Western internment camps briefly after the Second World War. Other Losses charges that hundreds of thousands of German prisoners that had fled the Eastern front were designated as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” in order to avoid recognition under the third Geneva Convention, for the purpose of carrying out their deaths through disease or slow starvation. Other Losses cites documents in the U.S. National Archives and interviews with people who stated they witnessed the events. The book claims that there was a “method of genocide” in the banning of Red Cross inspectors, the returning of food aid, the policy regarding shelter building, and soldier ration policy.

  10. I’m unaware if Allen Welsh Dulles ever personally supervised the torture of prisoners. But I hope I shall be pardoned if I suggest that he wouldn’t have found torture of the «bad guys» a problem….


    • “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
      George Orwell

      • «» Hardly surprisingly, our dear «EvilWizardGlick» reveals his ignorance of the provenance of this remark….

        But if one has an IQ of 50, not too much can be expected of one…. -)


      • Oh pollywoggy
        Provenance doesn’t matter merely the idea.
        Much like the Volraire quote regarding speech.
        Or your Grandpa claiming bend and spread them boys the Germans have arrived.
        Have a freedom fry.

      • «Provenance doesn’t matter merely the idea.» The defence of those with an IQ of 50 who are caught out when «quoting» a statement never made. How apt, my dear «EvilWizardGlick», and how typical of persons of your ilk….


      • Tiny, little pond wiggler,
        Does it matter the provenance of “Cheese eating surrender monkeys” as a description of your people?It has resonated in the hearts and minds of the world?

        Henri (on-ree) adj : 1. To be excessively creepy eg. “That guy was being really Henri” 2. To obsessively pursue a woman eg “come on man don’t Henri this girl, play hard to get”
        your friend(preferably named Henri but not limited too that name) stares after a girl who just left about ten minutes ago. its really creepy.
        your friend tells a girl he stopped touching himself about 9 months as he is saving himself for her.
        any friend or contact who you think may kill you and all your friends.
        a psychopathic friend.”

      • «Does it matter the provenance of “Cheese[-]eating surrender monkeys” as a description of your people?» Ah, «[Stupid]WizardGlick», your comments about my provenance -about which you know nothing – reveal you for the fool you are. I am of Northern European extraction, rather than French (of course, the Franks were Germanics, but let us refrain from entering into a discussion you are hardly qualified to pursue). I do however, gladly confess to eating cheese ; as to «surrender monkeys», a modicum of modesty would be seemly for a scion of a nation which, despite enormous expenditures of blood and treasure, hasn’t managed to win one of its many wars of aggression abroad since WW II (OK, I’ll give you Grenada)….

        But of course, that is perhaps too much to demand of someone with an IQ of 50…. 😉


      • Slimy little pond hopper
        Who extracted you from northern Europe and why did they refuse to accept you back?

        Yet you will always remain

        Henri (on-ree) adj : 1. To be excessively creepy eg. “That guy was being really Henri” 2. To obsessively pursue a woman eg “come on man don’t Henri this girl, play hard to get”
        your friend(preferably named Henri but not limited too that name) stares after a girl who just left about ten minutes ago. its really creepy.
        your friend tells a girl he stopped touching himself about 9 months as he is saving himself for her.
        any friend or contact who you think may kill you and all your friends.
        a psychopathic friend.”

      • Unable to stay on topic, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick» ? But what can one expect of a person (I use the term loosely) with an IQ of 50 ?… 😉


      • tiny goo nuzzler

        What would ever make you assume that I support the policies of the US?
        The policies of corporations?
        The policies of modern corrupt unions?
        I gather you never bothered to read what I post in an attempt to “get into my head”.
        Consider just how defensive I have made you become. How you dropped the posturing and pretense.
        How Henri devolved from the faux intellectual to “1. To be excessively creepy eg. “That guy was being really Henri””.
        That was already in the minds of others.
        Tip Henri, everyone lies all the time. But only the truly sad lie to totally anonymous strangers who’s opinions matter less than some call center operator in Bangalore.
        Your angst is possibly the most “real” posts I have read here.
        Thank me for breaking you from the poseur mold and becoming a real child.
        Finally Henri, with great insight comes no responsibility.

      • «What would ever make you assume that I support the policies of the US?» I assume nothing of the kind, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick» ; given your IQ and the stupidity you demonstrate in your posts to these threads, it strikes me as extremely unlikely that you are able to construct a coherent Weltanschauung at all (in that, perhaps, you do resemble your country’s current elected leader)….

        One wonders how many different asinine sobriquets you use to post to this forum and why you find it necessary to so disguise yourself. I shall refrain from making any assumptions on this matter…. 😉


      • moucheron

        I am saddened to say I will not be able to return your affections. I understand the pain and loneliness you must feel having such an enormous crush.
        I just don’t feel the same for you.
        Please, please don’t act rashly. Every locality has some form of help line you should call before considering ending it all.
        Even your native France has them.
        You could try a dating app such as Grindr or one of those Asian ones.
        Although the sobriquet Carlos Danger carries negative connotations you may get some traction and street cred for using it.
        You will find someone someday somehow.

      • «I understand the pain and loneliness you must feel having such an enormous crush.» Like your alter ego on these threads, my dear «[Stupid]WizardGlick», you make far to frequent use of projection as a psychological defence. But given that IQ of 50 of yours, it would be unfair to demand to much of you….


      • Muddy bellied hoppity hop

        What a brave face you put on. Stay strong little one there is a Macron just for you.
        Weltanschauung does not translate into the act of German Cornhole as the family of surrender monkeys taught you.
        Someday you will harken fondly back and weep openly at the enlightenment I have directed you to.
        I am your Mr. Miyagi.
        Unfortunately you are his second much less talented student and not Daniel. The one who cleaned the Japanese toilet holes and removed fungus from the bonsai.

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