Gina Haspel’s Rise Is No Victory for Feminism


Mr. Libi recanted the story after being returned to C.I.A. custody in 2004 as the war raged. He was sent back to Libya from American custody in late 2005 or early 2006 and detained there at the Abu Salim prison, where in 2009, at age 46, the former preacher who once ran a training camp for armed militants in Afghanistan apparently died of a suicide. His friends were suspicious of his cause of death.

The dozens of such “ghost prisoners” who were in American custody overseas were just among many of the shameful examples of collusion between my country and the C.I.A.’s rendition program.

How, when it has so readily relied on Egypt to take torture further than its own operatives would or could, can any American administration ever seriously hold our government accountable for its torture against us, the Egyptian people? The answer: It can’t, and it doesn’t. And successive Egyptian governments count on that. It is less likely to do so if Ms. Haspel, whose career is so tainted by torture, is at the helm. Furthermore, though previous United States administrations provided at least lip service to condemning torture in Egypt, President Trump has said that he believes torture “absolutely” works, and on the campaign trail in 2015, he said that he would approve waterboarding “in a heartbeat.”

Gina Haspel. Credit C.I.A.

Despite Mr. Trump’s boast, the choice of Ms. Haspel for promotion is no victory for women. My feminism does not demand that a woman have an equal opportunity to torture, alongside men. Torture is no less wrong because a woman, not a man, carries it out. I do not celebrate the appointment of women to high positions in regimes where cruelty is a favored tool of governance by a patriarchy; if they accept, they are nothing short of foot soldiers of that patriarchy and the violence it has instituted.

My feminism, instead, works to dismantle patriarchy and its violence — whether it is sanctioned by the state, as torture is, or practiced at home, in the form of intimate partner or domestic violence.

I do not subscribe to a feminism that demands perfection or super heroic nobility of women. But I do insist that putting women at the service of patriarchy is no victory for us. These are discussions that will come up again and again as women demand inclusion in institutions that have not been friends to women, such as the military, religious institutions, corporations — and the C.I.A.

Mr. Trump is certainly no friend to women. This president has been accused by at least 19 women of sexual misconduct. However many women he chooses to promote in his patriarchic government, he is no feminist. Feminism, as I see it, is not about counting women in key jobs.

It’s about what the president stands for and what those women work to enact and achieve. That is why I refuse to celebrate this move to promote Gina Haspel, a woman with too much experience in cruelty and deception. She and others who tortured for the C.I.A. must be held accountable, not rewarded.

Continue reading the main story
2018-03-14 05:45:05
Read more from source here…