A former CIA officer is “pissed off” at Senate Democrats and their “collective amnesia” as they vowed to oppose President Donald Trump‘s pick to lead the CIA.
CNN commentator Phil Mudd defended his former CIA colleague, Gina Haspel, who faced the grilling of the lawmakers Wednesday about interrogation techniques.
Haspel was questioned relentlessly about the CIA’s interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists following the attacks on 9/11. Mudd blasted Democrats for attacking Haspel, his colleague and friend, on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Wednesday.
“I was among the CIA officers 15 years ago who spoke with the Congress in detail about the techniques we used. I spoke about the techniques that were authorized by the Department of Justice. I spoke to Republicans and Democrats. They were either silent or supportive,” Mudd said.
In determining if the methods were legal, the CIA spoke to Justice Department officials who were Republicans, serving in the administration of former President George W. Bush, Mudd explained.
“They were voted on by the American people when they voted for a Republican president. They are the highest lawyers in the land and including the attorney general. They told us this was not torture and that it complied with the Constitution and that it complied with U.S. law,” he said.
“You can vote against Gina Haspel but don’t give me the collective amnesia about how it’s on CIA,” he argued.
“I want to talk to the senators who told us that they represented American values and conveniently in 2002 and 2003 this represented American values. Now that we don’t face the same threat and have different senators it’s OK to attack one of my former colleagues,” Mudd added.
“I am pissed off,” he said. “This is collective amnesia. We didn’t do it. America did it. Get over it.”
Mudd also blasted Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris who had appeared earlier in the segment and vowed to vote against Haspel.
“America is in a different place in terms of its ability to reflect on what we started to do 16 years ago, when we first captured the first major Al Qaeda prisoner in the spring of 2002, and what America thinks today. Perfectly appropriate and the Congress passed different laws,” Mudd said.
“It’s also appropriate to say that people including Kamala Harris are uncomfortable with where America was 16 years ago. But to go back and say ‘this person did something that reflected where the American psyche was and therefore I will judge her today’ and pretend that somehow CIA in isolation didn’t represent American values, I reject that,” he continued.
“I do not agree with Senator Harris in her characterization of history 16 years ago,” Mudd concluded. “It wasn’t that way.”
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