Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday called on his Senate colleagues to reject the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA, saying her “refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”
“I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “However, Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.”
I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country & has devoted her professional life to its service & defense. However, her role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing & her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying. https://t.co/ocDtdqU2Sx
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) May 10, 2018
McCain’s dissent isn’t entirely surprising given his history as a decorated veteran who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years and was tortured.
During her hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday, Haspel was peppered with questions about her role in the George W. Bush administration’s ruthless interrogation program, which used tactics like waterboarding to torture captives into submission. Haspel vowed to never employ a torture program as head of the CIA, but would not answer questions about its immorality.