Author: Lily Folkerts
On May 9th, Gina Haspel will have her confirmation hearing for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She played a prominent role in the CIA’s covert torture program, which subjected suspected terrorists to brutal “interrogation” methods including torture. And she wrote a memo for her boss to destroy evidence of torture. This does not bode well for how she will lead the intelligence service in Latin America and around the world.
The use of torture runs through grim chapters in Latin American history—from the dirty wars in Argentina and Chile to the civil wars in Central America. And many of those security forces engaged in torture were trained and equipped by the Pentagon and the CIA. To this day, the haunting legacy of torture remains. For instance in Mexico, 64 percent of respondents to an Amnesty International survey said they strongly disagreed that they would be safe from torture if taken into custody by authorities.
Making the head of the agency someone known for supervising a “black site’ where torture took place and for destroying evidence sends a deeply concerning message. If Haspel becomes director of the CIA, how will the U.S. stand up against torture in Latin America and around the globe?
Rather than a having a track record like Haspel’s, nominees to direct the CIA should have a history of respecting human rights and adhering to U.S. and international law.
TAKE ACTION. Tell the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which will take the first step to confirm or deny her appointment, to OPPOSE Haspel’s confirmation before they vote on Wednesday.
If you have a senator on the committee, please call them! Otherwise, call any (and many) of the members—paying special attention to the names in purple.
| Mark Warner
“Gina Haspel’s confirmation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency poses a real threat to human rights and international law across the world. Her record of supervising torture and the cover up of it sends the wrong message to the international community. I strongly urge your boss, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to oppose her confirmation.”