During a grilling by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Haspel refused to say whether the CIA’s now-defunct torture program that operated during the early fight against al Qaeda was immoral. Haspel’s controversial record at the agency includes leading a CIA black site where agents used so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on two terror suspects.
Mudd took issue with Harris’ line of questioning, denouncing senators he said were either “supportive or silent” about the CIA’s torture program when it was implemented. Harris is a freshman senator and was not in office during the program’s existence, but Mudd still called out Congress for its “collective amnesia.”
“Let’s go dirty and let’s go ugly,” he said on CNN’s “The Lead.”
“I was among the CIA officers 15 years ago who spoke with the Congress in detail about the techniques we used. I spoke about the techniques that were authorized by the Department of Justice. I spoke to Republicans and Democrats. They were either silent or supportive.”
Mudd said officials at the Justice Department told the CIA its program “was not torture” and complied with U.S. law and the Constitution.
The program is now widely regarded as a stain on the U.S. intelligence agency that undermined America’s moral authority around the world.
“You can vote against Gina Haspel, but don’t give me the collective amnesia that it’s on CIA,” he continued. “I am pissed off ... We didn’t do it. America did it. Get over it.”
Listen to Mudd’s remarks in the video above.