Sen. Chris Coons released a statement May 17 on his opposition to the nomination of Gina Haspel to the position of CIA director.
“Gina Haspel has spent 33 years serving our country, making incredible personal sacrifices and putting herself in dangerous situations, all without public recognition. She is, without a doubt, skilled and experienced, committed to protecting the American people and clear-eyed about the many threats our country faces,” said Coons.
“Over the past few weeks, I have been struck by the support Ms. Haspel has received from both current and former CIA employees, including past directors and members of the rank-and-file, and in reviewing her record, I have found that in many ways, her career and her story reflect the CIA’s and America’s history as we have struggled and learned to address evolving threats from international terrorist networks,” said Coons.
“Despite all of her qualifications, though, I will vote to oppose Ms. Haspel’s confirmation for two specific reasons. First, I cannot support someone for this incredibly important position who has overseen and directed torture of CIA detainees, particularly given Ms. Haspel’s failure to admit that torture is immoral and incompatible with American values,” said Coons.
“Second, I cannot vote to confirm her given her direct involvement in the destruction of videotapes documenting interrogations of CIA detainees, particularly after the CIA was explicitly directed not to destroy those important records,” said Coons.
“If she is confirmed, I expect Ms. Haspel to honor her pledge to never reinstate any form of enhanced interrogation techniques, even if it means resigning, should President Trump order her to do so. I also expect her to respect congressional oversight and, in particular, keep the Senate Intelligence Committee fully informed of CIA activities that cannot be made public,” said Coons.