Connect with us

News

WATCH: Gina Haspel, Asked About the Morality of Torture, Stumbles Bigly

Published

on

Gina Haspel, President Trump’s controversial nominee to become the next Director of the CIA, stumbled badly when asked about the morality of torture. Two Democratic Senators asked her whether or not she believed waterboarding and torturing prisoners was moral.

Haspel, who oversaw the waterboarding programs as head of a secret CIA prison in Thailand after 9/11, responded repeatedly with answers focusing on the legality of the acts – which many have noted were not legal. She appeared to disagree.

Waterboarding is considered torture and thus illegal under U.S. and international law.

When Democratic U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico asked Haspel about the moral aspects of torture, she appeared confused.

“We should hold ourselves to a stricter moral standards, and I would never allow CIA to be involved in coercive interrogations,” she replied when pressed.

“Where was that moral compass at the time?” Heinrich asked, referring to the torture she oversaw after 9/11.

“I know you believe it was legal,” Heinrich responded. “I want to see, I want to feel, I want to trust you have the moral compass that you said you have. You’re giving very legalistic answers to very fundamentally moral questions.”

Haspel, 61, concluded by deferring to her performance evaluations and ended by saying, “My parents raised me right. I know the difference between right and wrong.”

Watch:

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

LGBTQ Student Says He’s Being Blocked From Running for Class President After Suspension Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Protest

Published

on

A 17-year-old gay Florida high school student who was suspended after organizing a highly-successful statewide protest against Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law now says school officials are blocking him from running for class president.

Jack Petocz was suspended for four days, he and school administrators say, for handing out several hundred small LGBTQ Pride flags just before the walkout that drew hundreds of his classmates at Flagler Palm Coast High School and thousands of students across the Sunshine State. The walkout he organized was approved by school administrators although reports at the time say barely hours before it began he was told to cancel it. That order allegedly came one day after a school board member who has opposed Petocz in the past toured his school.

Now Petocz wants to run for senior class president.

In a letter he posted to Twitter he says school officials told him there would be no additional disciplinary action against him after his suspension but, he says, one month later they “broke this verbal agreement and placed a level 3 referral on my record. Now, due to this high level of discipline, I am being prevented from running for senior class president. I am continuing to be punished for standing up for my identity and against widespread hatred. I’ve emailed administration and the principal numerous times, they’re simply ignoring me.”

NBC News reports “school district spokesman Jason Wheeler said Flagler Schools was not permitted to speak about individual students’ disciplinary records. Requirements for individual on-campus clubs or organizations are set by the schools or clubs themselves, he said.”

Literary and human rights organization PEN America is honoring Petocz this month, the Associated Press reported.

RELATED –
‘We Say Gay’: Thousands of Students Across Florida Walk Out to Protest DeSantis-Backed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

“Jack Petocz is leading his generation in fighting back against book bans and legislative efforts to police how individual identities can be discussed in schools,” CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

This week he picked up support from U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Florida’s former governor who is running again to be governor.

 

Continue Reading

News

Donald Trump Took a Direct Role in Developing a Legal Strategy to Overturn Election Loss Says Coup Memo Author Eastman

Published

on

John Eastman revealed Friday in a court filing that he routinely communicated with Donald Trump either directly or through “six conduits” in the weeks ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The right-wing attorney asked a federal judge to maintain attorney-client privilege over his work for the former president, and the late-night filing gave the clearest view yet of the communications between Trump and the battalion of attorneys and allies helping his effort to remain in power despite losing the election, reported Politico.

The filing shows Trump took a direct role in those efforts, describing “two hand-written notes from former President Trump about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation,” which Eastman is looking to shield, and the attorney also said he spoke directly to the former president about legal challenges in states he lost.

Eastman wants to prevent the House select committee from obtaining 600 emails related to his so-called “coup memo,” which sought to enlist Mike Pence and GOP-led state legislatures to overturn the 2020 election outcome, and he also asked U.S. District Court Judge David Carter of California to shield his contacts with state legislators to discuss appointing pro-Trump electors in state Joe Biden had won.

IN OTHER NEWS: A GOP power grab shatters 30 years of political progress for Black voters in Galveston County

The filing does not identify the White House officials and attorneys he communicated with during that period, but some of those attorneys — including Kurt Olsen and Bruce Marks — filed declarations supporting Eastman’s claims about his work for Trump.

Eastman also reveals that he exchanged a dozen emails with Fox News host Mark Levin, whom he doesn’t identify by name but whom he describes as “an individual who, in addition to his role as a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board Chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.”

Continue Reading

News

Matt Gaetz Thinks Families Using Gov’t. Assistance to Buy Baby Formula Should Take a Back Seat to ‘Hard-Working’ Americans

Published

on

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said this week babies born into low-income families should not have the same access to food as those born into wealth – or even moderate means – and voted against a bill because, he suggested, it would help them take food away from their more affluent peers.

The Republican Party for weeks has been falsely hammering the Biden administration and Democrats in general about the very real baby formula shortage, baselessly trying to pin the blame on the President and his officials. But when the Democrats put two bills on the House to help ease the crisis, many Republicans refused to vote to help families.

More than half the baby formula sold in the U.S. is purchased through government assistance programs like WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

Congressman Gaetz says those families accessing government assistance should take a back seat to “hard-working” Americans when it comes to buying baby formula. Equating wealth with being hard-working is a fallacy, as is saying those who are low-income do not work hard.

WIC narrows and controls the amount of baby formula that families using it can buy, but it also specifies the brands and even stores they can use.

RELATED –
‘Y’all Don’t Give a Damn’: 192 ‘Heartless’ Republicans Just Voted Against a Bill to Help Ease the Baby Formula Shortage

H.R.7791, the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022, would temporarily reduce those constraints.

Gaetz opposes making baby formula more accessible to people because they are poor, or, as he suggests, not “hard-working.”

“H.R. 7791 would make baby formula shortages worse for most Americans,” the Florida Republican Congressman tweeted. “It will allow WIC to utilize a far greater portion of the baby formula market, crowding out many hard-working American families.”

Gaetz was one of nine Republicans to vote against the bill. It passed the House, and even Republicans in the Senate saw it as so non-controversial that they allowed it to pass by unanimous consent, meaning they didn’t require a vote on the bill. It will now head to President Biden to become law.

Gaetz was blasted on social media. A few responses:

RELATED:

OPINION: GOP House Chair Crosses Line With ‘Pedo’ Attack Against the Left in Lie-Filled Baby Formula Rant

‘Abbott Supports Letting Babies Starve’: Critics Fed Up With Texas Governor Trying to Milk Formula Mess

Florida Republican Draws Criticism for Posting Photo of ‘Baby Formula’ at Federal Facility That’s Mostly Apple Sauce

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.