Gina Haspel is a consummate professional who has served the U.S. intelligence community with distinction for more than 30 years.
As the Trump administration’s nominee to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, Haspel has received endorsements from six former CIA directors, three former directors of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of state. It would be hard to find someone with more experience to run the CIA.
And that’s why she’s a terrible choice.
I’m not just talking about her involvement in the torture policy of the George W. Bush administration. I’m talking about her 33 years of quiet service to the Agency.
The CIA needs a Scott Pruitt or a Ben Carson. It needs someone who is dead set against the very nature of the organization, just as Scott Pruitt is anti-environment and Ben Carson could care less about housing and urban development (at least for the people who need it most).
Gina Haspel is just the type of status-quo choice that Donald Trump promised not to make. She’s not a swamp-drainer.
In policy terms, the Trump administration has approached North Korea largely the same way the Obama administration has – with a heavy reliance on sanctions, appeals to China, and occasional threats.
As John Feffer explains in this short video, the primary difference is that Trump’s threats have been far more alarming, raising concerns in South Korea and beyond that war is a real possibility, despite the fact that experts universally regard it as the worst possible option. These threats are especially dangerous on a peninsula where U.S. wartime actions left an indelible impression on both sides of the DMZ.
There remains, however, a diplomatic alternative, which the Obama administration never seriously pursued. Can Trump change course?