Leo Varadkar’s invitation to Donald Trump is an insult to anyone concerned with human rights. It comes just days after Trump appointed a torturer as director of the CIA.
Gina Haspel was in charge of a CIA ‘black site’ in Thailand and, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, was ‘up to her eyeballs in torture’.
Haspel watched as a prisoner named Abu Zubaydah “ vomited, passed out and urinated on himself while shackled.” While he was being waterboarded, Zubaydah “lost consciousness and bubbles began gurgling from his mouth,” and he had to be revived by medical personnel.
Haspel allowed the most interrogations to continue for nearly three weeks even as CIA headquarters was notified that Zubaydah had not “provided any new threat information or elaborated on any old threat information.”
Trump appointed Haspel as CIA director because he supports the use of torture techniques and wants to re-open CIA ‘black sites’.
None of this concerned Leo Varadkar when he invited Trump to visit Ireland. Instead he said he would be ‘congratulating him on the fact that he’s successfully changed American tax laws and brought them more into line with ours’.
The message could not be clearer. If you support tax dodging, you are ‘one of us’.
The Irish political establishment do not care that the tax dodging of big corporations has widened global inequality and deprived countries of the necessary resources to look after their populations.
And as for torture, they will say nothing.
The attitude of the Irish people, however, is very different. If Trump accepts Varadkar’s invitation, the country will come to a standstill with the biggest protests ever.
And the majority of decent Americans will be applauding.