Durbin Statement On Nomination Of Gina Haspel To Head CIA

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: 

America cannot close this sad chapter in our history of rendition, waterboarding, and enhanced interrogation techniques until we have accountability. Those who were part of the decision-making in those years must acknowledge that ‘following orders’ and trusting legal interpretations’ are not sufficient to justify conduct which we now know was clearly wrong. The fact that this President has threatened to engage in these same practices or worse is all the more reason to demand that the next head of the CIA come to this assignment with clean hands and a steel resolve.

The most troubling aspect of this nominee’s background was her role in preparing a memo justifying the destruction of videotapes and evidence which would have preserved the true record of these interrogations. Destroying evidence creates a level of culpability which cannot be ignored or explained away.