Politics & Policy

Former CIA Officer Goes Off on Lawmakers for Bashing Haspel

CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Va. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Former CIA officer Philip Mudd attacked Democratic lawmakers Wednesday, accusing the senators of demonstrating “collective amnesia” during Gina Haspel’s Wednesday confirmation hearing to lead the CIA.

“Lets go dirty and let’s go ugly. 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, the ex-deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I want to talk to the senators who told us they represented American values and conveniently in 2002 and 2003 this represented American values. Now that we don’t face the same threat and we don’t have the same senators it’s okay to attack one of my former colleagues. I am pissed off. We didn’t do it, America did it. Get over it.”

Haspel’s nomination to replace Mike Pompeo, who left to take over as secretary of state, atop the CIA was met with staunch opposition from Democratic lawmakers, as well as Republicans senators John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who objected to her alleged role in administering the CIA’s now-defunct “enhanced interrogation” program.

The 33-year agency veteran vowed not to reimplement the program during the Wednesday hearing and said her views on its merits have evolved since the early 2000’s, though she would not explicitly condemn the tactics it employed as torture.

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