Forty-five years ago, under a cloak of secrecy, Operation Condor was officially launched: a global campaign of violent repression against the Latin American left by the region’s quasi-fascist military dictatorships. The US government not only knew about the program — it helped to engineer it.
President-elect Joe Biden is being warned not to bring torture apologists who served under President Barack Obama into his administration.
The Daily Beast reported this week that Biden was considering Michael Morell as a potential CIA director, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) had objections. Wyden publicly warned that Morell, who served as deputy director of the CIA under Obama, shouldn’t be considered due to his past ties in obscuring CIA torture. CNN subsequently interviewed Wyden:
“No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter,” Wyden told CNN, referring to Morell’s previous suggestions that the agency’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” of terrorists was both effective and moral—claims that go further than those made by other officials who have faced scrutiny over the agency’s handling of detainees at black sites, including former Director John Brennan and current Director Gina Haspel.
Wyden isn’t the only person trying to raise alarms about Morell. Over at Just Security, Scott Roehm, along with Daniel Jones (who investigated the CIA torture and wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on it),also warned against Morell. They note Morell’s role in essentially absolving CIA staff (including current CIA Director Gina Haspel) of responsibility for destroying tapes of CIA torture of suspected terrorists during the Iraq War. He was also responsible for the CIA’s response to the Senate’s torture report, insistingthat the CIA’s methods had resulted in actionable intelligence.