WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“The Director of the CIA holds an incredible amount of sensitive information in their hands on a daily basis. As such, he or she must embrace the rule of law, transparency and accountability while striving to uphold the Constitution while keeping Americans safe. Holding firm to the rule of law is essential – we cannot allow the ‘fog of war’ or the rush to react to a terror attack drive us away from adherence to American values. I respect Gina Haspel for her decades of public service to our country and recognize the unique challenges she was forced to overcome as a woman rising to leadership within the intelligence community. She has made incredible sacrifices and made great contributions to the security of this country. But the record that senators have been asked to review in consideration of her nomination is purposefully incomplete. Hindsight and a promise to do better next time is inadequate when it comes to allowing or not allowing American operatives to engage in torture. Torture is illegal and produces unreliable information. It puts Americans at risk and weakens America’s moral standing in the world, as well as our alliances. I cannot in good conscience vote for Ms. Haspel to lead the agency given what we already know about her role in these CIA programs. I therefore will vote to oppose the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the next CIA Director.”