Trump's CIA nominee, Gina Haspel, is a bit on the schoolmarmish, prickly side. When New Mexico's Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich pressed her this morning on her "moral compass," she seemed close to traversing the hearing-room floor and smacking him with a ruler.
With respect to that compass, torture, of course, has been front and center. And in my viewing, Haspel has come back each time with an answer grounded in legalities. It's merely a well-rehearsed strategy, but she also seems genuinely impervious to the ethics of beatings, bindings, sleep deprivation, stress positioning, coffin confinement, "walling" and the star of Bush-Cheney's show, waterboarding.
When she was told by that previous administration that torture was legal and then told to carry it out, she did — no questions asked, no ethics questioned. She now mouths a sensitivity to such ethics. But for a buttoned-up schoolmarm, she sure was easy the first time.