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Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday immigrants. We hear their stories, how and why they came to America, their expectations vs. reality and much more. We hope you’ll join us.

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Letters: Gina Haspel’s Testimony on Torture

To the Editor:

Re “Nominee for C.I.A. Vows Era of Torture Is Over” (front page, May 10):

Donald Trump vowed just the opposite during his campaign for president and added that he’d go beyond the torture designed and administered by the Bush-Cheney administration.

Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. nominee, supervised torture of detainees at a secret prison in Thailand but said at her confirmation hearing that torture “will not restart” under her leadership of the agency.

Mr. Trump will restart America’s torture program, no matter what she thinks. He promised it to his voters and the rest of the world. And, sadly, he will deliver.

JAMES NEUPERT, ATHERTON, CALIF.

To the Editor:

Re “Deeply Versed in Spy Agency, and Dark Era” (front page, May 8):

Bad enough that everyone who promoted or participated in the post-9/11 torture program enjoyed a de facto grant of amnesty. Intolerable that someone who personally oversaw an American-operated torture chamber in Thailand could be promoted to head the C.I.A.

As President Trump tries to defend Gina Haspel, two points should be recalled. First, the torture program was not begun at the urging of experts in interrogation, but rather was promoted by political leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney, who gloried in the image of themselves as ruthless supporters of violence against our foes.

Second, as an exhaustive Senate Intelligence Committee investigation confirmed, the unlawful torture program never yielded any intelligence of importance.

Ms. Haspel was grilled about her role in the enterprise. She is fortunate that the questions were posed by senators, not by a United States Attorney prosecuting her for criminal conspiracy.

MITCHELL ZIMMERMAN
PALO ALTO, CALIF.

To the Editor:

Gina Haspel’s defenders point out that she was told that the torture she supervised was legal, and that she had been ordered to destroy the evidence. Even so, the Nuremberg trials proved the legal principle that “I was only following orders” is not an acceptable excuse for unacceptable behavior. She should not be confirmed.

DAVID L. MEISTER, NEW YORK

FOR YOUR SOCIETY

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