(Washington D.C., Monday, May 7, 2018) â€“ Wednesday the Senate will begin confirmation hearings for President Trumpâ€™s nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel. Haspel faces fierce opposition from the national security community, including 109 of the nationâ€™s most respected retired generals and admirals who sent a letter to the Senate expressing profound concern over for Haspelâ€™s involvement with torture and other unlawful abuse of detainees as well as the role she played in carrying out an orderâ€”against the objections of the White House and Congressâ€”to destroy 92 videotapes of individuals in U.S. custody being subjected to torture.
The letter cites reports that Gina Haspel ran a CIA â€śblack siteâ€ť at which at least one detainee was repeatedly tortured, including by waterboarding. Signatories of the letter say that they do not accept the excuse that she was â€śjust following orders;â€ť instead, they state that individuals working in the service of our country, even at the lowest levels, have a duty to refuse to carry out actions that are clearly unlawful.
General Charles C. Krulak, the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, explains his objections to the nomination.
THE FACT THAT MS. HASPEL RAN A C-I-A BLACK SITE AND THAT AT LEAST ONE DETAINEE WAS REPEATEDLY TORTURED AT THAT SITE AND THAT MS. HASPEL PLAYED A LEADING ROLE IN THE DECISION TO DESTROY TAPES OF INDIVIDUALS BEING SUBJECTED TO TORTURE IS UNCONTESTED. I DO NOT DISPUTE MS. HASPELâ€™S COMPETENCE AND EXPERIENCE AS A C-I-A OPERATIVE. BUT WHEN THE MOMENT CAME TO MAKE THE HARD CHOICE, THE LEGAL CHOICE, THE CHOICE THAT REQUIRED MORAL COURAGE AND A STRENGTH OF CHARACTER, MS. HASPEL FAILED.
CONFIRMING MS. HASPEL WOULD SEND THE WRONG MESSAGE TO BOTH OUR ALLIES AND OUR ENEMIES AND WOULD TRAMPLE UPON OUR VALUES AS A NATION. IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WE BELIEVE THAT CHARACTER COUNTS, AND IN A CRITICAL TIME AND AT A CRITICAL PLACE MS. HASPEL DID NOT DISPLAY THE TYPE OF CHARACTER THAT WE MUST SEEK IN SOMEONE HOLDING SUCH AN IMPORTANT POSITION.
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