CVT Vows Vigilance as a Torturer is Voted to Head CIA | Center for Victims of Torture

CVT Vows Vigilance as a Torturer is Voted to Head CIA

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. & WASHINGTON — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today condemned the Senate’s confirmation of Gina Haspel as CIA director, calling it a severe blow to torture survivors in the United States and around the world because of her history as a leader in the CIA torture program. 

“Today, the Senate could have redeemed us as a country; they could have reignited the light of hope we once carried around the world; they could have chosen to stand with members of our military, elected officials, faith leaders and others in sending a clear message that the U.S. does not give promotions to torturers, that we are far above the sickening practice employed by despotic regimes and dictators,” said Curt Goering, CVT executive director.

“Instead, today the U.S. Senate chose to reward a nominee who was a significant figure in one of our nation’s darkest chapters.

“However, this is not an ending—this is a beginning. Gina Haspel was confirmed only after she admitted that the CIA torture program was wrong and should never have been implemented at all. She admitted that the torture program damaged the reputation of the United States. And she declared that the torture program should never again be resuscitated. These admissions are powerful evidence of the influence of thousands who stood together with raised voices to reject torture.

“Even with her admissions, CVT will be watching to ensure Haspel holds true to her words, and we will speak truth to power whenever torture is even hinted at. We will never stop fighting to bring an end to the heinous use of torture around the world—and we will never stop raising our voices when torturers like Haspel are rewarded for condoning the worst one human can inflict upon another. They tried before to keep torture secret and failed. They will fail again.”  


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa

and the Middle East. Visit

Jenni Bowring

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