WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Quaker lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), today denounced the Senate’s vote to confirm Gina Haspel to serve as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“Torture is wrong. Always. Today’s vote to confirm Gina Haspel as our nation’s most senior intelligence officer sends a signal to the world that torture is acceptable. It is not,” said Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary.
The close confirmation vote (54-45), reflects reservations many senators had about the nominee and her role in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. Once sworn into office, Haspel will be the first woman to lead the CIA.
Despite the CIA’s refusal to release Haspel’s over 30-year employment record and information about her involvement in the torture program, public reports demonstrate that she was deeply involved and was responsible for overseeing a secret CIA location in Thailand where at least one detainee was waterboarded. Haspel was also involved in destroying video evidence of these interrogations in 2005 despite knowing that the White House legal counsel did not want the evidence destroyed.
In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the use of torture after 9/11. The report condemned the CIA torture programs and concluded that its enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective in obtaining critical information from terror suspects.
“The Senate Special Committee on Intelligence said several years ago our government must not condone torture in any way. Unfortunately, with this vote today the Senate chose to confirm a nominee who approved torture and destroyed evidence to hide these heinous acts from the American people,” said Jim Cason, FCNL’s Legislative Director for Foreign Policy.
FCNL thanks Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) for voting NO on the nomination of Gina Haspel in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and for all the 45 senators who voted their conscience and opposed her confirmation today on the Senate floor.
Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.