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Daily Action: Torturers Should Get Jail Time, Not Promotions

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Senator _________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to urge her to oppose Gina Haspel's nomination to be Trump's new CIA Director. Ms. Haspal’s history running a black-ops site in Thailand and overseeing the use of torture makes her unqualified to run the CIA. She should be in prison, not in public service. I expect a more ethical and principled person for this position. Thank you!

Trump's game of cabinet-member musical chairs continues, with new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's confirmation Wednesday morning. Trump wants to fill Pompeo's vacancy as CIA director with the agency's current Deputy Director, Gina Haspel -- but she is a uniquely poor and un-American choice for this role, having been deeply involved in torture programs during George W. Bush's presidency.

California's two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both sit on the Intelligence Committee that will consider Haspel's nomination beginning next Wednesday, May 9. Feinstein, a longtime critic of the use of torture, has joined fellow senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in calling for the release of classified documents related to Haspel's tenure running a secret “black site” CIA prison in Thailand, where waterboarding and other brutal methods of torture were conducted under her watch. (In 2005, a document featuring Haspel's name ordered agents to destroy video evidence of the interrogations, in order to cover up the use of torture.) Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants Haspel to explain her involvement and role in the CIA’s torture program, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wants the results of an investigation into Haspel’s destruction of evidence to be released. Nevertheless, Feinstein maintains that she has not made a decision on supporting Haspel, and has sounded open to her nomination. “We’ve had dinner together. We have talked," Feinstein said. "Everything I know is she has been a good deputy director." Harris similarly has not committed to oppose Haspel.

If two Republicans decide to oppose her, Haspel's nomination will fail -- provided that Democrats uniformly oppose it. Feinstein and Harris' wavering is a risk the nation can't afford.