We know that in the early 2000s, Gina Haspel’s CIA was rendering accused terrorists to unfathomable torture in Syria, as well as Egypt and Jordan. And we know that in 2005, Haspel herself was busy ordering the destruction of evidence of her involvement in the waterboarding of prisoners.
What we don’t know is if she was involved in sending Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer, to Syria, where he was tortured by Bashar Assad—the same Assad now condemned for gassing his own people; the same Assad the CIA has been trying to depose for the past six years.
Did Haspel participate or even order Arar and others to be sent to Syria to be tortured? We will likely never know: Haspel, whose nomination for director of the CIA is currently being considered by the Senate, refuses to declassify the dark underbelly of her involvement in extreme rendition and torture-by-proxy.
Jane Mayer recounted Arar’s story in 2005 after interviewing him for The New Yorker.