Truman Project Statement Opposing Gina Haspel’s Nomination for CIA Director

Washington, DC — Following Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today, Truman Project President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

“It was entirely necessary that Gina Haspel pledged to ‘not allow the CIA to undertake activity that [she] thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal’ during her confirmation hearing today. Unfortunately, even with this statement, her testimony was insufficient—and the context of her nomination too fraught—to support her nomination for CIA Director.”

“Much concerning Haspel’s time in Thailand remains classified, and given conflicting accounts, we simply do not know enough to exonerate her from ordering, overseeing, or covering up evidence of the use of torture. It remains perilous to imagine her in a senior leadership position under a president who has campaigned on and must be talked down from the use of torture.”

“More broadly, we must consider the message that Haspel’s confirmation would send the CIA. Our intelligence agencies must sometimes operate in gray areas to protect the United States and our interests; even so, there are lines they must not cross. The use of torture was and is one such line, and there has been little to no accountability for that failure to date. Haspel should not bear the responsibility or consequences of that alone, but promoting her would be a clear signal to the entire agency that there will be no accounting for past mistakes, nor any reward for moral courage in resisting immoral orders.”

“For the good of the United States and the world, all must understand that torture does not make us safer and, more fundamentally, is not who we are. On the basis of that principle and the above concerns, Truman Project cannot support Haspel’s nomination.”