President Trump has announced that he will nominate Gina Haspel as the new Director of the CIA as part of reshuffle of jobs after Rex Tillerson’s departure as Secretary of State.
Gina Haspel previously oversaw a notoriously brutal CIA ‘black site’ in Thailand, where men were waterboarded and used as a ‘guinea pig’ for torture techniques. She subsequently helped destroy video evidence of the abuse.
Commenting, Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve said:
“Is this back to the future, or forward to the past? Gina Haspel was one of President Bush’s torturers-in-chief and she is simply not fit to hold an office that requires, at its very heart, a commitment to uphold the values of the Constitution. This is another example of Donald Trump’s backward-looking reliance on people and methods that have failed. The bright ideas of the CIA during the ‘War on Terror’ – from Guantánamo and black sites to torture and rendition – did nothing to make America safer. Promoting the people responsible for that failure of strategy shows weakness and not strength from the President.
“This appointment should be a warning to allies of the US in the UK, Europe and around the world to rethink their cooperation with an administration which has refused again and again to show respect for the values we all share.”
(NOTE: this press release was amended on March 20 2018 to remove reference to Abu Zubaydah. This followed a correction to a ProPublica article which originally linked Ms Haspel with Mr Zubaydah’s torture).