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Snowden: New CIA Head Might Face Arrest in EU Over Role in Torture Program

© AP Photo / Christopher LaneEdward Snowden talks with Jane Mayer via satellite at the 15th Annual New Yorker Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in New York
Edward Snowden talks with Jane Mayer via satellite at the 15th Annual New Yorker Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in New York - Sputnik International
Former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden speculated on Twitter that the nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, could face arrest if she sets foot in the European Union because she allegedly was involved in a torture program at a secret CIA prison.

"Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who ‘tortured some folks,' probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor," Snowden tweeted, while providing a link to a European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights' report on a criminal complaint filed against Haspel in 2017.

​The ECCHR criminal complaint was filed with Germany's federal public prosecutor on June 6, 2017. It was a follow-up to a complaint first filed in 2014, with previous follow-ups in 2015 and 2016.

In the complaint, ECCHR recalls that Haspel was the superior of the two notorious psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, responsible for developing the torture program used on terror suspects at CIA secret prisons and at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. (Mitchell and Jessen were previously referred to with the Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar.)

According to ECCHR, Haspel herself supervised the torture of Abu Zubaydah, arguably the most famous Gitmo prisoner, who is accused of preparing 9/11 terror attack, but who has never faced criminal court or official charges. In 2002, Zubaydah was held at a secret CIA prison in Thailand known as "Cat's Eye," or "Detention Site Green."

"As head of the prison, Gina Haspel signed several cables (extracts printed in the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report) to CIA headquarters concerning the torture of Abu Zubaydah," the complaint reads. "One officially published cable from 15 July 2002 suggests that as Chief of Base, Gina Haspel was the only person with the authority to end the torture of Abu Zubaydah."

"Gina Haspel failed to make use of this power," it reads.

The report also notes that she attempted to destroy all records of torture or other evidence of her involvement in the program, which shows "that she was at all times fully aware of her involvement in the commission of crimes."

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The organization calls on German authorities to take "appropriate measures," which include "issuing an arrest warrant" should Haspel travel to Germany or the Schengen Area.

Snowden also questioned whether Haspel represents "the values the US should be promoting," and suggested the CIA start issuing uniforms decorated with "skulls and lightning bolts."

​Haspel was tapped as CIA chief after US President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Rex Tillerson would be leaving the office of secretary of state and would be replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Both Pompeo and Haspel will have to be confirmed by the US Senate.

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