Washington, D.C.—Following Senator McCain’s decision to oppose Gina Haspel for CIA Director, General Charles C. Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps, issued the following statement:
“I couldn’t agree more with Senator McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel for CIA Director. No one knows more about this issue than Senator McCain, who has done a great service in reminding the American people of the critical role our laws and values play in defending and promoting national security. He is, in many ways, the conscience of our nation. I stand one hundred percent with Senator McCain when he said:
‘Ms. Haspel’s role in overseeing the use of torture by Americans is disturbing. Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.’
Other members of the Senate should listen carefully to Senator McCain in considering their positions on this nominee. I have a lot of respect for Senator Manchin, Senator Collins, and the other members of the Senate who have decided to support Ms. Haspel, but they’ve made a terrible mistake. During the nomination hearing Ms. Haspel admitted that she advocated for and played a role in the destruction of videotapes of torture despite knowing of objections from senior officials in the Congress and executive branch. No one who was involved in the destruction of federal records should even be considered for high office. How Senators Manchin or Collins or any other senator could support someone who has shown such utter disdain for congressional oversight and the rule of law is completely beyond me.
Ms. Haspel also did not contest that she was involved in torturing detainees, and could not even bring herself to say that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were immoral despite being asked numerous times. Her assurances that she would not get involved in torture again ring hollow. When it comes to senior government positions, character and judgment matter, and Ms. Haspel failed the test when it mattered most. The military does not have patience for those who seek to skirt the law and avoid personal responsibility. That’s why I joined 108 other retired generals and admirals in opposing Ms. Haspel’s nomination. We stand with Senator McCain on this issue of critical importance to the nation, as should other senators.
I want to thank Senator McCain once again for his invaluable service to the nation, and I wish him the speediest of recoveries.”
General Krulak led an effort of 109 of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals who wrote a letter to senators expressing profound concern over Haspel’s nomination.