Late Thursday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) had this to say after viewing classified intelligence about Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, “I have never in my life wished that more classified information could be available to the public.”
While we don’t know everything McCaskill and other senators have seen, what we already know is chilling, and should disqualify Haspel. Here are just five examples:
- She personally helped torture detainees in a secret CIA black site in Thailand during the Bush administration.
- She ordered the destruction of videotape evidence (she even included instructions on how to use an industrial-strength shredder).
- She was the only person with the authority to stop interrogations (torture) at the Thailand site. She never exercised that authority.
- She advocated burning the Thailand black site to the ground after it was closed.
- She was already passed over for a promotion within the CIA once before because of her past.
At her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, Haspel weaved and ducked around questions — and most importantly, she refused to unequivocally declare torture immoral.
Why does this matter? Trump has said “torture works” in the past and he’d like to bring it back. If Gina Haspel becomes CIA Director — an actual torturer — would lead the very agency that could bring back illegal torture. It’s too dangerous to let Haspel lead the CIA under Donald Trump. Full stop.
The good news? Your. Calls. Are. Working.
We still have an opportunity to #BlockHaspel! Already, as of Friday afternoon, 17 senators have declared their opposition to Haspel’s nomination — and even more are still on the fence. Haspel’s nomination was put in jeopardy this week when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — a survivor of torture himself — came out strongly against Haspel in a statement after her hearing: “Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is joining Senator McCain in opposition, and several other Republicans are still on the fence.
Only one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has come out in support of Haspel. Prominent Democrats like Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced their opposition this week after Haspel’s confirmation hearing and several others haven’t voiced their opposition. These senators are being F-L-O-O-D-E-D with calls from constituents, demanding they #BlockHaspel.
With bipartisan opposition against her nomination, we can stop Haspel from becoming CIA Director — here’s how we do it:
- Visit our one-stop shop website with call scripts, explainers, a resource, and a video so you can learn why Haspel is a #TrumpThreatLevel emergency, and what you need to tell your senators.
- Use our toll-free number — 1-855-980-2350 — to easily reach your senators and tell them to publicly oppose Haspel’s nomination. We need to make sure Democrats hold the line and keep Republicans accountable.
Your calls had a tremendous impact in the fight to stop Mike Pompeo from becoming Secretary of State. We didn’t win that fight, but the torrent of calls helped secure opposition from key Democrats, even those who voted in support of Pompeo for CIA Director last year (from 15 senators down to 7!). We know we can win this one — and deal a major blow to Trump’s War Cabinet.
If Gina Haspel is confirmed as CIA Director, the #TrumpThreatLevel will be set at max. Senators know this too — and they know wayyyyyyyyymore about Haspel’s past than we do since so much of it is classified. So let’s light up the Senate phone lines this week. Check out our #BlockHaspel resources and make a call to help stop her nomination!
Find an Indivisible event near you
In order to better serve Indivisible groups, and to provide you with the most up-to-date local events, we’ve added this section to our weekly emails! Below you’ll find events in your area (within a 35-mile radius) that you can attend to support your local Indivisible group and take action on your home turf!
What: Protecting Anti-Poverty Programs in an Era of Unprecedented Attacks
When: Sunday, June 3, 2:00 PM
Where: Kitsap Convention Center, Bremerton, WA
We hope that this will give you more ways to get involved in your communities and maybe even discover a new, local Indivisible group!
This week on Capitol Hill
- Some House Republicans want to force an immigration vote. Congressmen Denham, Hurd, and Curbelo introduced a discharge petition that aims to force a “Queen-of-the-Hill” floor vote on competing immigration proposals, where the proposal with the most support passes. One of the proposals on the table is terrible for immigrants: it conditions temporary protections for Dreamers on permanent cuts to family immigration and massive spending on Trump’s deportation force. For more information, check out our resource!
- There will be a vote to protect net neutrality in the Senate.Senator Ed Markey, joined by every other Senate Democrat and Senator Susan Collins, introduced a resolution to undo the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality this past week. The vote will be this coming week (probably on Wednesday), and there are still a few Republican Senators on the fence — you can use our resource and call script to call and demand that they vote to protect the free and open internet.
- The farm bill, including big cuts to SNAP, will get a vote in the House. Republicans are trying to pass a farm bill that would take food assistance away from over 2 million people, mere months after handing the wealthy and corporations trillions of dollars in tax cuts. This bill will likely pass with few or no Democratic votes, and then it will be on to the Senate — you can read our resource here to learn more.
This week’s #TrumpThreatLevel:
- Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the Iran Deal. This unnecessary, reckless, and dangerous action by Trump isolates us from our allies and increases the likelihood of war with Iran. National security experts — including members of Trump’s own cabinet — agree that Iran is complying with the deal, and that it has helped to curb their nuclear program. Trump’s desire to spite President Obama at every turn is costing us, and the world, our safety.
Visit trumpthreatlevel.indivisible.org for a running list of all the ways Trump makes us less safe and our latest foreign policy resources to take action.
177 Days Until the Blue Wave!
You’re making waves and changing how politics work (both in Washington and in state houses!). Now, we’re going to change who works in politics. And, as always, Indivisible groups are leading the charge on this work. Let’s keep this momentum strong through 2018 and beyond. Make sure you check out Indivisible435 — our one-stop shop for your election needs and stay tuned for some big announcements about our plans in the next couple of weeks!
The Indivisible Team