The Slatest

Washington Post Prints Definitive Worst Take on Gina Haspel Torture Debate

Gina Haspel raises her right hand to be sworn in in front of a crowded hearing room.
Testifying before Congress—just like they do on TV!
Alex Brandon/AFP/Getty Images

Toward the end of this Dana Milbank Washington Post column about Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s behavior during Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing is a paragraph that will really knocks your socks off:

The Haspel nomination is a case in which reasonable people can disagree. Demonstrators portrayed her as “Bloody Gina” the “torturer.” She, by contrast, went full Carrie Mathison in her opening statement, describing brush passes, dead drops, dusty alleys and dismantled cells.

1. “Demonstrators” didn’t “portray” Gina Haspel as a torturer. Her encouragement of brutal interrogations that have been described as torture by such noted left-wing activists as John McCain is well-documented.

2. “By contrast,” she “went full Carrie Mathison” (a character from the fictional TV show Homeland), describing spy things? How is that a “contrast”?

3. If you’re going to “contrast” the factual statement that Haspel supported torture with a comment about how it was really neat that she seemed like a person from your TV screen, a much more appropriate fictional analog would be CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy, ably portrayed by Joan Allen in the acclaimed and beloved series of Bourne action thrillers.

In closing, many radical protesters have accused Hitler of being bad. But, by contrast, a television show!