“The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history. Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process. I know the Senate will do its job in examining Ms. Haspel’s record as well as her beliefs about torture and her approach to current law.”
US Senator John McCain
“This is going to reopen wounds from a decade and more ago, and also invite more oversight of both our analyses and our activities, especially if Gina is confirmed.”
U.S. Official (Anonymous)
March 14 2018 — Gina Haspel has been named by President Trump to be the next CIA director, replacing Mike Pompeo. Her involvement in operating CIA “black sites” during the Bush administration is controversial. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: Gina Haspel Becomes First Female CIA Director
UPDATE (March 14 2019) — On May 17 2018, the US Senate voted (54-45) in favor of Gina Haspel. She was sworn in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on May 21, the first woman to head the Agency.
END of UPDATE
They say that time heals all wounds, but sometimes it wounds old heels. Although Haspel’s nomination is supported by many in the U.S. intelligence community, she faces criticism for overseeing a secret CIA prison in Thailand where detainees were tortured and for having ordered the destruction of the evidence.
Her involvement in drafting orders to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation techniques is undisputable. It is reported in the book “Hard Measures,” by Jose Rodriguez, her boss in the agency at the time, and former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow.
“Her nomination faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, which Trump’s fellow Republicans control 51-49. She could be opposed by all the Democrats, and some Republicans may also oppose her, including Senator Rand Paul, who has called a news conference on Wednesday to discuss the nomination.” [Reuters]
At this point, it is rather safe to assess that Haspel faces “a rocky confirmation hearing in the Senate and a narrow political path to secure the job.”
If Democrats elect to oppose Haspel as a bloc in committee or the full Senate, Republicans will need all the votes they can get in order to confirm her.
“I voted against Mr. Pompeo’s nomination to be CIA director because he failed to express moral opposition to torture, but Ms. Haspel has done much worse. Not only did she directly supervise the torture of detainees, but she also participated in covering it up by helping to destroy the video evidence. Her reprehensible actions should disqualify her from having the privilege of serving the American people in government ever again, but apparently this president believes they merit a promotion.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
“I have met Gina and I know of her decades of experience at the CIA. I prefer to wait to have a confirmation hearing before making a decision on her nomination. She certainly has the expertise and experience as a 30-year employee at the agency. But I’m sure there’s going to be some questions raised.”
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins
“During Gina Haspel’s long tenure at the CIA, she oversaw the agency’s torture and rendition program, one of the bleakest chapters in our nation’s history. No one who had a hand in torturing individuals deserves to ever hold public office again, let alone lead an agency.”
Raha Wala — Director of national security advocacy for Human Rights First.
“The new CIA director was a key part of the torture program and its illegal cover-up. Her name was on the Top Secret order demanding the destruction of tapes to prevent them being seen by Congress. Incredible.”
“Senators have a lot of questions about Haspel and they deserve to have those questions answered, in an open hearing setting.”
Mark Warner — Senate Intelligence Committee
“In his book “Unjustifiable Means,” Mark Fallon details the moral corruption that manifested itself in the torture programs. With the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the new CIA Director, it is clear that corruption continues unabated. We are a better nation than this.”
Steven Kleinman — Former US Intelligence Officer
“I resigned as Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo after I was directed to use evidence derived partly through Haspel’s torture program. Rather than being held accountable, those like Bybee, Bradbury & Haspel who OK’d torture moved up. Those who spoke out against torture did not.”
Colonel Morris Davis — Former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor/Colonel (ret).
“Gina Haspel knew the psychological & physical torture of Abu Zubaydah might well kill him, as per CIA cables. She proceeded anyway & sought legal cover from CIA headquarters. She then helped destroy incriminating videos to cover up these crimes.”
“Trump’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency was a central figure in one of the most illegal and shameful chapters in modern American history.”
“We should not be asked to confirm a nominee whose background cannot be publicly discussed.”
US Senator Martin Heinrich
“This exemplifies the lack of accountability and moral reckoning–both of how we got to 9/11, and the actions sanctioned by the highest levels of government in the years after. Ms. Haspel’s confirmation hearings must include an airing of these issues.”
Ali H Soufan — Former FBI Special Agent
“Ms. Haspel’s background makes her unsuitable to serve as CIA director. Her nomination must include total transparency about this background, which I called for more than a year ago when she was appointed deputy director. If Ms. Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of U.S. intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past.”
US Senator Ron Wyden
“It was Haspel who was Rodriguez’s handpicked warden of the first secret prison the CIA created to handle al-Qaeda detainees. It was Haspel who oversaw the staff, including discredited contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the notorious pair who came up with the torture techniques and who actually carried out torture on prisoners. It was Haspel who videotaped the torture of Abu Zubaydah. And it was Haspel who carried out her master’s instructions to destroy the tapes, despite being specifically told by the White House Counsel to preserve them. I would call that “obstruction of justice” and “destroying evidence.” And the last time I checked, those were felonies.”
Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou
“Haspel is not the first government official with involvement in torture, or other types of war crimes. This is a government with no accountability. But her hands are particularly dirty, having both run a secret CIA torture prison, and then covering up its felonies. Her nomination is a moral depravity.”
Jeffrey Kaye — Retired psychologist and an independent journalist
Gina Cheri Haspel (born October 1 1956) is an American intelligence officer.
She joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1985.
Haspel ran a “black site” CIA prison located in Thailand in 2002.
In 2005, she gave the order to destroy videotapes of the waterboarding.
Director John Brennan in 2013 named her deputy director of National Clandestine Service, but she was denied a permanent promotion in the face of congressional opposition.
In February 2017 she was appointed by President Donald Trump as Deputy Director of the CIA. She is the “first female career CIA officer” to receive that appointment, although she is the second woman, as Avril Haines had been appointed by Barack Obama in 2013.
In March 2018, Haspel is picked to become the next CIA director
Why Gina Haspel is a controversial CIA pick
CIA — Gina Haspel Nomination Reopens Old Wounds
One Year Ago — Gina Haspel CIA Nomination Reopens Old Wounds