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Human Rights Coalition Blasts CIA Torturer as Trump’s Pick for CIA Head

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March 15, 2018. A coalition of human rights groups working to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and end US torture condemns President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel for Director of the CIA.  Haspel's documented involvement in torture should absolutely disqualify her from consideration for the post.

In 2002, Haspel oversaw a so-called "black site” in Thailand where the CIA committed gross acts of torture. At the site, CIA personnel waterboarded Abu Zubaydah 83 times. It also extensively tortured Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Conducted in secret, these abuses inaugurated what became a global program of CIA rendition and torture that violated domestic and international law and American commitments to human rights and the rule of law.

Haspel was also directly involved in destroying video evidence of the abuse at her black site. Her acts violated an order by U.S. District Judge Henry J. Kennedy Jr. to preserve evidence of torture. The destruction of the videotapes triggered a Senate investigation into CIA torture. It concluded that the CIA committed crimes, while lying to Congress, the American people, and the world about the alleged efficacy of torture.  

Haspel’s actions make her guilty of grave crimes that should in no way be excused or immunized by the phony cover Bush’s Justice Department gave for criminal conduct. Haspel should be held to account for her violations of human rights and the law. Her nomination to the head of the CIA signals how completely the United States has abandoned the rule of law and its own ideals with respect to its shameful history of torture. It is also a disturbing move by a president who has advocated the return of CIA torture, while spewing Islamophobic and other hateful rhetoric.  

Haspel must be soundly rejected as a nominee for CIA Director. Her nomination should serve as the beginning of a comprehensive legal, moral, and political reckoning with the crime of US torture.

Close Guantánamo
About Face: Veterans Against the War (Iraq Veterans Against the War)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Defending Rights and Dissent
Justice for Muslims Collective
No More Guantánamos
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
The Tea Project
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
War Resisters League
Witness Against Torture
World Can't Wait