For Immediate Release


Jen Nessel, CCR, (212) 614-6449,

CCR in Disbelief at Confirmation of Gina Haspel, Outraged Former Head of CIA Torture Site Now CIA Director

New York, NY - In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Gina Haspel as CIA Director, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

The senators who voted in favor of Gina Haspel’s confirmation as director of the CIA sent a dangerous and shameful message, domestically and around the world, of total impunity for torture when the United States is the perpetrator and foreign Muslims are its victims. Decades ago, when U.S. POWs were the ones subjected to water torture of the kind Gina Haspel oversaw at a CIA “black site,” the United States would have been in disbelief—as we are today—if the perpetrators were not only not held accountable, but promoted to higher office. The double standard here is staggering. And the impact of this even more unambiguous signal that the United States thinks torture is somehow permissible will be felt globally, by the most vulnerable, as domestically, intelligence agencies, police and prisons wardens, and  internationally, dictators, authoritarian regimes and those opposed to human rights feel emboldened to disregard the law.

Despite Haspel’s confirmation, we will continue to fight for accountability for U.S. torture, looking in particular to prosecutors outside the United States. Surely, the United States’ promotion of a known purveyor of torture to the highest level of an intelligence agency will cause the International Criminal Court to take a closer look at the CIA torture program. As we have said, “We will be following up with the prosecutor in The Hague.”


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The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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