May 16, 2018

Harris Statement on Vote Against Haspel to Lead CIA

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement today on her vote in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence against Gina Haspel’s nomination to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency:

“Every day, the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency work to keep Americans safe, often at great sacrifice and with no recognition of the critical importance of their remarkable service. The next CIA Director must honor that workforce and the mission of the agency with the highest levels of integrity. The choice for CIA Director sends a clear signal to the American people and around the world about our values as a country - a signal that shows how we value the rule of law, how we value transparency, and how we value our moral authority. After careful review of her open and closed hearing testimony as well as her record, I cannot support Gina Haspel as our next CIA Director.

“I remain concerned about Ms. Haspel’s commitment to transparency. Ms. Haspel’s unwillingness to share information regarding the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was deeply troubling.

“I joined my colleagues in calling on the Justice Department to make a federal prosecutor’s report about the destruction of videotapes depicting torture public. Given Ms. Haspel’s role in the destruction of the tapes, for this information to not be shared with the public and the full Senate is unacceptable.

“Most troubling, however, was Ms. Haspel’s refusal to provide a clear answer to my question – one I asked four times – on whether or not she believed torture was immoral. Senator John McCain was right when he stated that her ‘refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.’

"I thank Ms. Haspel for her decades of service to our country, and if she is confirmed as CIA Director, she will have an immensely important and difficult task before her. If confirmed, I will work with her, through my work on the Intelligence Committee, to vigorously protect all Americans and our nation from the many threats we face.”