Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Gina Haspel's CIA Senate hearing interrupted by protesters: ‘Bloody Gina! You are a torturer’

Ms Haspel has indicated that she would not restart the controversial interrogation programme if she becomes CIA director

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 09 May 2018 17:01 BST
Gina Haspel hearing interrupted by an anti torture protestor yelling bloody gina

The Senate confirmation hearing for Gina Haspel to become the next director of the CIA has been interrupted by several protesters who accused her of being “torturer” before being removed from the room by Capitol Police.

One of the protesters, wearing orange, referred to Ms Haspel — who oversaw a US intelligence "black site" in Thailand in late 2002, where interrogators used techniques described widely regarded as torture by critics— as “bloody Gina” repeatedly as she was led out of the room.

“How do you treat people who are human beings in your custody? … The question is, what do you do to human beings in US custody?” the protester shouted.

“Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! You are a torturer!” the woman continued.

Ms Haspel’s role - however small - in the CIA’s interrogation programme, which employed techniques like waterboarding, has been a major point of contention after President Donald Trump picked her to become the CIA’s top official. The use of such techniques was made illegal in the US in 2015. Ms Haspel, who has served in the CIA for decades, has faced an unusually difficult nomination period, especially for someone who has served the agency for so long.

Ms Haspel is said to have offered to withdraw herself from consideration for the nomination, even as scores of her peers have expressed confidence that she would provide strong leadership in the CIA and stand up to President Trump, who has openly embraced the possible use of interrogation techniques considered to be torture by many.

The protester in the hearing was not the only person to express concern with Ms Haspel’s nomination.

Outside of the Washington hearing, at least two individuals dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods protested silently on their knees, conjuring the image of detainees at overseas US prisons like Guantanamo Bay.

Ms Haspel has indicated that she would not restart any controversial interrogation programme if she becomes the director of the CIA.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in