“I’ll never forgive Trump and I won’t stop talking about it,” says Mike Mills, founding member of the alternative rock band R.E.M. “It’s not just who he is and what he represents… It’s what he’s done to the American political process. He has allowed stupidity to be the coin of the realm, he has allowed thinking that has been and should always be marginalised and on the edges to become almost part of the mainstream…
As opinion columnists like Thomas Friedman capitulate to the Democratic Party for relief from “trumpence” in a wistful fit of magical thinking, people of conscience confront the failed policy of “lesser evil” politics that strangle any meaningful resistance to the outrageous crimes of their government.
Congressional endorsement of state-sponsored terror, most recently demonstrated by approval of a torture advocate to head the Central Intelligence Agency, confirms what we already knew: the tripartite system of U.S. governance is not going to be reformed from within. Gina Haspel’s commitment to defending the unlawful actions of her colleagues guarantees a repeat of the U.S. prisoner abuse exported to Guantanamo and beyond.
CIA veterans lobbied for the nominee, calling Haspel a competent, experienced and highly qualified intelligence professional. “That’s why she’s a terrible choice,” said John Feffer at the Institute for Policy Studies. But unscrupulous, unquestioning obedience to criminal directives is a highly regarded quality in the fascist circle attending the White House. President Trump chose the C.I.A. director precisely because of her past, celebrating Haspel’s role in the “enhanced interrogation” program that included the controlled drowning of detainees.
Haspel’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate in no way absolves CIA complicity in America’s wars of terror. Nor does it relieve congressional oversight responsibility to hold public officials accountable for criminal actions. But it should compel the rest of us to take up the call to stop the crimes of our increasingly fascistic government, before it is too late.