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As CIA director nominee Gina Haspel prepared for her confirmation hearing, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, who has authored a sympathetic biography of Iraq War architect and former Vice President Dick Cheney, advocated for her confirmation on Fox News and encouraged her to go forward with a “detention and interrogation program” if accepted to the post.
On the May 9 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Hayes joined host Bill Hemmer in downplaying Haspel’s leading role in operating a black site in Thailand and later destroying possibly incriminating evidence of torture, telling Hemmer that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will “try to make a big deal of that.” Hayes also asserted that “the American people … would like somebody who is regarded as tough on terror,” boosting a talking point from the White House:
Finally, Hayes endorsed the future use of a “detention and interrogation program” if Haspel is confirmed, saying, “I, for one, would like there to be a detention and interrogation program. Now we can have a debate about whether it should include some of the advanced interrogation techniques that were used, but one of the problems under the Obama administration is that there was no serious detention and interrogation program for the jihadist leaders that we captured.” These tactics have not only proven ineffective, but the record of torture under the Bush administration had serious issues with regards to human rights and legality. Hayes mentions none of this.