Carper Opposes Gina Haspel to Lead CIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Senate voted 54-45 to approve Gina Haspel as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

“In the wake of the horrific attacks on our country on September 11th, many brave men and women in our intelligence community, driven by patriotism and a desire to prevent further loss of American lives, made mistakes in following orders to carry out enhanced interrogations of suspects in U.S. custody. These misguided practices hurt our standing around the world and put U.S. servicemembers at greater risk of torture, should they be captured. They also did not work.

“I have no doubt that, over her three decade career in the clandestine service, Ms. Haspel was driven by the best of intentions, and I thank her for her service. However, I believe that a CIA Director must be unequivocally opposed to torture and deeply committed to the difficult task of reckoning with the failure of this country’s torture program. Anything short of that jeopardizes our country’s ability to lead the rest of the world with moral clarity. During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Haspel repeatedly failed to condemn torture – and in her remarks since, she has continued to suggest, against all evidence, that the program worked.

“I am also concerned that the CIA appears to have withheld important information from the American public regarding Ms. Haspel’s role in the torture program. While we must always protect sources and methods, I believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant. I fear that confirming Ms. Haspel, in the absence of a fuller public record of her activities at the Agency, sets us back in our efforts to reckon with the mistakes made in the years after September 11th.

“Despite her years of service to this nation, I do not believe that Gina Haspel’s record is reflective of the values that our country must champion – not just in word, but, even more importantly, in deed. For this reason, I must oppose her nomination.”