Monday, March 19, 2018

Tell the Senate: Block and resist torturer Gina Haspel as CIA director

The petition to the Senate reads:
"Block and resist Trump's nomination of torturer Gina Haspel for CIA director."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell the Senate: Block and resist torturer Gina Haspel as CIA director
Longtime CIA officer Gina Haspel ran a secret "black site" prison in Thailand and later destroyed the videotaped evidence of brutal waterboarding sessions.1
Now Trump has nominated her to take over as CIA chief. If confirmed, Haspel could help Trump bring back the days of inhumane, ineffective and illegal torture interrogation techniques. Only the Senate can block his dangerous choice.
Gina Haspel ran a secret prison in Thailand where CIA personnel brutally interrogated detainees with waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in boxes and other torture techniques.2 In 2005, she signed off on an order to destroy videotapes of the torture sessions.3
A 2009 Senate report found that the torture that Haspel and other CIA officials oversaw after Sept. 11 never led to "imminent threat" intelligence that the CIA used to justify the practice.4 Tortured detainees made up information and often gave more useful information without being tortured.5The report also criticized the CIA for "inadequate and deeply flawed" management of the interrogation program, including improper screening and poor training of interrogators.6
As of today, Haspel could not legally order CIA personnel to resume torturing suspects. A 2015 law reinforced that these interrogation techniques are illegal.7 But extraordinary rendition, in which prisoners are sent abroad to be held and possibly tortured by foreign governments, remains legal today.8 Just as disturbing, Trump has repeatedly said he wants to bring back waterboarding "and a hell of a lot worse."9 We need government officials who will stand up to Trump's violent impulses and push for legal and effective intelligence gathering.
If the United States is going to live up to its ideals of respecting human rights at home and around the world, we must draw a line somewhere – we cannot reward torturers with top government jobs.
Yet Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he has not advised Democrats to oppose Haspel.10 Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who once opposed Haspel for a CIA appointment because of her past role in torture, has now said this of Haspel: "To the best of my knowledge she has been a good deputy director and I look forward to the opportunity to speak with her again."11
The comments from Sens. Schumer and Feinstein make it clear that without massive pressure, the Senate will confirm Haspel in a heartbeat. We need to stand up for human rights and block anyone who tortured detainees from being director of the CIA.
Tell the Senate: Block and resist Gina Haspel's confirmation as CIA director. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Brandy Doyle, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Matthew Rosenberg, "New C.I.A. Deputy Director, Gina Haspel, had leading role in torture," The New York Times, Feb. 2, 2017.
  2. Adam Goldman, "Gina Haspel, Trump’s Choice for C.I.A., Played Role in Torture Program," The New York Times, March 13, 2018.
  3. Matthew Rosenberg, "New C.I.A. Deputy Director, Gina Haspel, had leading role in torture."
  4. NBC News, "Senate report finds CIA interrogation tactics were ineffective," Dec. 9, 2014.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Rupert Stone, "Has Obama banned torture? Yes and no," Al Jazeera America, Dec. 1, 2015.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Sarah Margon, "Giving Up the High Ground," Foreign Affairs, Feb. 13, 2018.
  10. Deirdre Shesgreen and Erin Kelly, "Trump turmoil: Contentious Senate confirmation hearings await Pompeo and Haspel," USA Today, March 13, 2018.
  11. Patricia Zengerle, "Senate Intel Chairman Backs Haspel to Head CIA, Democrats Concerned," US News & World Report, March 13, 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment