Jewish Leaders Oppose President Trump's CIA Nominee

Gina Haspel has served the CIA for more than 33 years.

Gina Haspel, President Donald J. Trump's nominee to the CIA directorship, has no dearth of supporters. They have tried to show her in a good light, portraying her as a loyal soldier trying her best to get what is good for the U.S. Haspel managed the highly controversial post-September 11 torture program run by the CIA. She played a major role in the program, and as her supporters claim, was simply trying to stop another devastating attack. Haspel's current position is the deputy CIA director. If selected, she would take the place of Mike Pompeo. The latter has been named as Secretary of State.

Haspel has served the CIA for more than 33 years. She supervised a CIA interrogation venue in Thailand. The site saw several torture methods used on the prisoners, including waterboarding. A few years later, concerns were raised about her role in the destruction of multiple videotapes depicting torture. Congress had already examined the methods and subsequently discouraged them. No charges were brought against her.

Not all people in the world support Haspel's future leadership role of the CIA. Over 250 Jewish clergies signed a petition opposing Haspel’s elevation to lead the CIA. They cited her role in prisoner torture during the George W. Bush administration. The petition stated that Haspel's role in the now discontinued CIA torture program makes her incompatible with any variety of meaningful commitment to the prohibition on torture. The authors sharply made the point that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by her, cancels the nomination. T’ruah, a Jewish human rights group, having 2,000 rabbis and affiliated cantors all over Jewish religious spectrum, organized this petition.

A section of the media reported that Haspel has considered withdrawing from the run to the CIA director post. It remains unclear whether she has sufficient support in the divided Senate for the confirmation. It is reported that officials from the Trump administration coaxed her to remain.

Former President Barack Obama stopped “enhanced interrogation techniques” in his second day after becoming the president. President Trump has said he prefers these methods under a few circumstances. Trump supported Haspel, saying that Haspel, a respected nominee, is now being criticized as she was extremely tough on terrorists. He went on, typing that during these trying times, Democrats and a few other people want her out as she was too tough on terrorism.

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