Oppose the nomination of torture leader Gina Haspel as CIA Director. This is a crucial time to act — there is finally a debate about the U.S.’ post-9/11 torture program!
Suggested action steps:
1) Call Sen. Burr and Sen. Tillis to oppose Haspel’s confirmation. Torturers should not be promoted! Burr has expressed support for her; Tillis’ position is not yet public.
Tillis: (202) 224-6342,
2) Contact Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Stein. Say the State of North Carolina can positively affect the national torture debate by facing up to our role in torture. Cooper should make a public statement! Stein should investigate. It’s more important than ever to acknowledge our role and make sure it never happens again. North Carolina-based Aero Contractors transported at least one prisoner to be tortured at the black site run by Gina Haspel. Altogether, Aero transported at least 49 prisoners for the CIA to secret detention and torture.
Jenni Owen — Policy Director, NC Office of the Governor
Phone: (919) 814-2000
Jasmine S. McGhee — Director, Public Protection Section and Special Deputy Attorney General
Phone: (919) 716-6781
3) Write a letter to the editor opposing Haspel’s nomination. Make the point that transparency and accountability here in North Carolina can prevent future U.S. torture.
4) Donate to the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture to push for transparency and accountability for North Carolina’s role in torture.
BACKGROUND AND RESOURCES:
Gina Haspel, the Deputy CIA Director, has been nominated to head the agency. She was one of the top two managers of the CIA’s interrogation and torture program when it was secretly detaining prisoners at overseas “black sites” and subjecting them to vicious beatings, repeated mock drowning, prolonged sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, prolonged nudity, threats to rape family members, confinement in small boxes, and more.
In 2002, Haspel ran the CIA’s black site in Thailand while prisoners were being tortured there. She and Jose Rodriguez were the staunchest advocates for destroying the CIA’s video tapes of its Thai torture sessions. She drafted the 2005 memo ordering this destruction of evidence, even though she and Rodriguez had been instructed to preserve the material as possible evidence in an investigation.
Torturers should get jail terms, not promotions! It is an outrage that Gina Haspel, who as the ACLU says is “up to her eyeballs in torture,” should be promoted to the top job in the CIA. Haspel’s torture record should be declassified and released to the public, along with the rest of the Senate Torture Report.
Aero Contractors of Smithfield, NC, flew at least 49 prisoners for the CIA, including at least 34 to and from the black sites. This includes Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, whom it hauled to the Thai black site while Haspel was running it. Al-Nashiri was kept naked and shackled, and was threatened with sodomy, and with the arrest and rape of his family. He was repeatedly waterboarded.
North Carolina is in a good position to oppose the promotion of torturers by leading the way in transparency and accountability. The State of North Carolina should acknowledge its role in the torture overseen by Haspel. The State should persuade Johnston County to investigate Aero Contractors and bar torture-related flights from Johnston County Airport or other public airports.
Human Rights First Backgrounder: https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/backgrounder-gina-haspel-nominee-cia-director
Joseph Margulies: http://time.com/5199408/abu-zubaydah-lawyer-gina-haspel/