How exactly do the pilots of one of the world's most sophisticated spy plane take a dump during flights of between 8 and 12 hours at twice the altitude of commercial airliners?

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Associated Press/Ng Han Guan

Even as the Trump administration works to warm relations with North Korea and Russia, America’s relations with China have chilled so much a top Central Intelligence Agency expert has dusted off an old term: “Cold War.”

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The United States is in the middle of a resurgent national conversation about the ethics and legality of torture, thanks primarily to President Donald Trump's choice of Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who oversaw the torture of detainees at a "black site" prison in Thailand, to head the agency. Among the questions that come up as part of one of America's most enduring post-9/11 debates: Does torture work? What are the long-term consequences? And at what point does torture compromise the country's moral standing?

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo reportedly set up small teams of commandos to kill suspected terrorists, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

During the U.S. government's decade-long support of the Contra rebels who waged an armed campaign against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista regime in the 1980s, the CIA funneled all manner of assistance to the anti-socialist “freedom fighters,” from training and financial assistance to covert operations. The original “advise and assist” mission was a disaster in retrospect, spurring all manner of human rights violations as well as the modern crack cocaine scourge. But the CIA aid program’s most fascinating product might be the batshit crazy psychological warfare manual cooked up for the Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries.

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Screenshot via YouTube of the trailer for “American Made”

Tom Cruise is taking to the skies again. But this time it’s in a Piper Aerostar-600 loaded down with cocaine and guns, not an F-14 Tomcat. “American Made,” set for a Sept. 29 premiere, has Cruise playing Barry Seal, a commercial airline pilot who’s recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to shuttle drugs and guns to and from South America. Check out the fresh trailer:

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