Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Open the Government Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg Releases Statement for the Record Opposing Gina Haspel’s Nomination to Lead the CIA
Congress and the Public have been Subjected to a Selective Disclosure Campaign by the CIA in Favor of Gina Haspel’s Nomination, Asserts Rosenberg
WASHINGTON – Open the Government Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg submitted a statement for the record on Gina Haspel’s nomination hearing today, detailing why the organization opposes Haspel’s nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. The statement expressed concerns that Haspel’s actions have undermined transparency and accountability, and that “the CIA chose to release only information that cast Ms. Haspel in a positive light” which would make having a “truly open debate…very much in doubt.”
“The public has a right to government information, and it is unacceptable for a federal agency to withhold information to preserve a political nominee’s image,” wrote Open the Government’s Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg. “It is a significant disservice to the public to approve a political nominee when the public remains in the dark about her record. If the CIA, now under the leadership of Ms. Haspel herself, refuses to release further information, we ask that Senators consider the public record sufficiently disqualifying.”
Key concerns about Haspel center around her time working in a position of power at a CIA black site that conducted disturbing interrogation techniques such as waterboarding. Haspel’s involvement in the destruction of 92 videotapes of interrogations overseas is also deeply troubling, especially given that the tapes were evidence of illegal torture, possibly involving Ms. Haspel herself.
“It would also be a blow to congressional oversight, indicating to the federal workforce and the American public that officials can conceal agency wrongdoing and still rise to the top of agency leadership without fear of accountability,” said Rosenberg in her statement. “Ms. Haspel may promise that torture will not be a part of the CIA’s work going forward, but she cannot promise that there will be no unethical or unlawful behavior at the agency, and if there is, how can she be trusted to be transparent with Congress and seek accountability?”
Open the Government is an inclusive, nonpartisan coalition that works to strengthen our democracy and empower the public by advancing policies that create a more open, accountable, and responsive government.