McCollum: CIA Nominee's Support for Torture Should Disqualify Him
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is considering President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement opposing the Pompeo nomination:
"At a time when the United States faces significant national security threats at home and abroad, including Russian attacks on our democracy during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is more critical than ever that the person directing the Central Intelligence Agency provide trustworthy, non-partisan advice to the President of the United States.
"It is alarming that, in addition to denigrating the men and women of our intelligence services, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Representative Mike Pompeo, one of the most hyper-partisan Members of Congress, to lead the CIA.
"A leading crusader on the Republican Benghazi witch hunt that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars solely for political gain, Representative Pompeo has a record of supporting radical positions in Congress including advocating for the use of extreme interrogation techniques, including waterboarding.
"These techniques should be called what they are: torture. Torture both violates international norms on human rights and serves as a recruitment tool by radical extremist groups, significantly increasing the danger to our men and women serving in uniform overseas. I condemn the use of torture in the strongest possible terms.
"I call on the Senate Intelligence Committee to reject Representative Pompeo’s nomination as Director of the CIA and ensure that the United States never returns to the days when the CIA or any other government agency engages in torture."