CVT Raises Concerns about Possible Promotion of CIA Employee Reportedly Involved in Torture Program

Thursday, April 11, 2013

St. Paul, MN – The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) and other human rights organizations have sent a letter to John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), expressing concern about the possible promotion of a CIA employee who reportedly was involved in the CIA’s past detention and interrogation program to serve as Director of the National Clandestine Service. 

“Media reports of this employee’s alleged participation in the CIA’s unlawful and misguided torture program raises red flags,” said Curt Goering, executive director of CVT. “Before Director Brennan proceeds with his decision to fill this important position, I urge him to thoroughly consider the serious consequences torture and cruel treatment as official U.S. policy had on America’s national security, the rule of law and our global leadership in human rights. In no way should anyone so closely involved in this abuse be allowed to serve in CIA leadership.”


April 10, 2013
John O. Brennan
Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Office of the Director
Washington, D.C.  20505

Re: Appointment of Director of Clandestine Service

Dear Director Brennan:

We are deeply concerned by reports in reputable news sources that you are considering appointing as the new Director of Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency an individual who reportedly was closely involved in setting up CIA secret detention facilities (known as “black sites”).  The same person was also allegedly involved in creating and operating the CIA interrogation program, which employed torture, and ordering the destruction of interrogation videotapes that depicted torture.[1]

While we cannot confirm the veracity of these reports, no individual who had such a role in these actions should be promoted to lead the Clandestine Service.  Promoting such an individual would compound the existing impunity for torture, by suggesting that such actions are in fact rewarded. It is also contrary to the spirit of the Executive Order signed by President Obama upon taking office, which closed the CIA “black sites” and banned the specific torture methods carried out there.

These reports underscore the pressing need for a thorough and public accounting of the treatment of detainees since the September 11, 2001 attacks and the vital public interest that would be served by a full declassification of the report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on this issue.

During your confirmation hearings, you expressed your personal opposition to torture.  We hope that you will look for individuals who share that position when choosing persons to help you lead the Agency.


Center for Victims of Torture
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Open Society Policy Center
Physicians for Human Rights


[1] Greg Miller & Julie Tate, CIA Director Faces a Quandary over Clandestine Service Appointment, Wash. Post, March 26, 2013, available at; Mark Mazzetti, Officer Tied to Tapes’ Destruction Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder, N.Y. Times, March 27, 2013, available at







Brad Robideau
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