When Trump Left the Iran Deal and Torturer Gina Haspel Became CIA Head

When Trump Left the Iran Deal and Torturer Gina Haspel Became CIA Head
Looking back in time for a preview of my forthcoming book

For the last couple weeks, I have been teasing the release of my first book. The book will be a collection of my favorite articles that I have written over the years.

I will be releasing the book to celebrate the launch of libertyweekly.club, my new membership website, which will have all the same features of this Substack, and then some.

Upon launch, every subscriber to this list will be getting a free electronic copy of my book. Premium subscribers will be getting a signed physical copy.

Everyone will be automatically transferred over to the new site, including memberships for premium subscribers. There will be no change to any of the functionality and you won’t have to do anything to make it happen. I will also be introducing new bonuses and tiered support levels much like Patreon.

I don’t have a firm date yet, but my goal is to launch on Liberty Weekly’s fifth anniversary, which is this Memorial Day.

So, yes, behind the scenes I have been prepping the site and breathing life into many of my old articles, some of which were written before I even launched the Liberty Weekly Podcast. I actually had to go back on Archive.org to pull the text.

Because of the above, and since the Iran Nuclear Agreement is in the news again, I wanted to share one of the pieces that I just finished breathing some life into. I wrote it May 10, 2018, one day after Donald Trump left the Iran Nuclear Deal.

(This article was adapted in May 2022 from its original May 10, 2018 publication)

Yesterday, Donald Trump tallied a win for the military-industrial complex by withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The Agreement, passed just three years ago in 2015, was just about the only good thing to come out of the Obama Presidency.

In April 3, 2015, Justin Raimondo, co-founder and editorial director of Antiwar.com said of the nascent agreement:

President Obama did a masterful job in presenting the basic parameters of the deal in his speech [announcing the deal]: unlike his critics, he sounded like a true statesman, one who is looking to history, and not the next election or the next day’s headlines. He stated clearly what are the alternatives to the peaceful resolution of this brewing conflict: war or walking away from the negotiations—imposing heavier sanctions, blinding ourselves to what is going on in Iran, and following a course that eventually leads us back down the road to war.

However, as journalist Gareth Porter noted just a few months later, in July 2015, Obama’s accomplishment in reaching an agreement contained the kernel of its own demise:

...my enthusiasm for the agreement is tempered by the fact that the US political process surrounding the Congressional consideration of the agreement is going to have the opposite effect. And a big part of the problem is that the Obama administration is not going to do anything to refute the extremist view of Iran as determined to get nuclear weapons. Instead the administration is integrating the idea of Iran as rogue nuclear state into its messaging on the agreement.

As Porter argued in his 2014 book, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.” there is very little real evidence that Iran has pursued nuclear weapons since 2003.

Despite this lack of concrete evidence, the war hawks, guided by the Israel lobby, have been pushing for war with Iran for over a decade. Since Donald Trump made yesterday’s announcement, Israel has already stepped up its bombing campaigns against Syrian and Iranian targets inside of Syria.

Distressingly, Iran has retaliated by firing rockets at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an area of Syria that was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967.

Raimondo calls Washington’s withdraw from the deal “a disaster,” saying that it “reopens the question of war with Iran, a danger we thought we’d avoided when the deal was signed.

In the meantime, the Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed proven torturer Gina Haspel as a part of her nomination for CIA Director.

In the words of veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern, “[i]t is no secret that Haspel oversaw detainee torture, including waterboarding, at a CIA ‘black site’ base in Thailand,” who also ordered the destruction of “dozens of videotapes of torture sessions.”

McGovern notes that, aside from being “intrinsically evil,” and in violation of international and domestic law, torture simply does not work and consistently yields false intelligence, which is then used to justify war.

A prime example: Colin Powell claimed to the UN security council in 2003 that there was a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. This false intelligence derived from the torture of Abu Yahya al-Libi who, less than a year later, admitted that he made the story up while being waterboarded by Egyptian intelligence.

This “intelligence” resulted, in part, in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which destroyed that country. The ensuing chaos saw the rise of an international jihadist insurgency, as radical Islamist militants flocked to Iraq, looking for any opportunity to fight against the American Empire.

With the US out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement and the ostensible ascent of Gina Haspel to the head of the CIA, many are wondering if the US destined for yet another war in the Middle East.

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