With the Senate scheduled to start confirmation hearings on Wednesday for President Donald Trump’s nomination to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, nearly 100 former U.S. ambassadors sent a letter to legislators opposing her, The Hill has reported.
Although the ambassadors said they had no qualm with her credentials as both a leader and an intelligence professional, they wrote in the letter that Haspel “is also emblematic of choices made by certain American officials in the wake of September 11, 2001, that dispensed with our ideals and international commitments to the ultimate detriment of society.”
They emphasized that she "should be disqualified from holding Cabinet rank" because of reports that she supervised a CIA "black site" in Thailand where harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding were used on suspected terrorists while she worked under the George W. Bush administration and then was involved in the subsequent destruction of tapes that documented the treatment of the prisoners.
USA Today reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee's questions in the hearing is expected to focus on exactly those issues.
The ambassadors said they are worried that if Haspel becomes CIA director, authoritarian rulers worldwide use will her past behavior to justify their own use of torture.
Among those signing the letter are former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, as well as former Ambassadors Thomas Pickering and Robert Ford.
The Washington Post reported that Haspel had considered withdrawing her nomination last week after some White House officials worried that her role at the "black site" could prevent her confirmation.
She was interested in doing so to avoid the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing and potential damage to the CIA’s reputation and her own, but was reportedly dissuaded from doing so and convinced to continue to seek the nomination.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.