POLITICS
05/09/2018 12:09 pm ET

Protesters Decrying Torture Dragged From Gina Haspel Senate Hearing

Demonstrators gathered inside and outside the building for the CIA nominee's confirmation hearing.

A Senate hearing for CIA nominee Gina Haspel was met with outcry Wednesday as Code Pink protesters rallied against her on Capitol Hill.

Video shows members of the anti-war and social justice group being dragged from the Senate Office Building while shouting against Haspel’s nomination as CIA director, citing her past ties to the spy agency’s torture program.

“Stop the torture!” protesters repeated. “Don’t reward Gina, say no to Gina!”

Others demonstrated outside the hearing room and the building. 

Earlier in the day, more than 100 retired and former U.S. ambassadors sent a letter to the Senate expressing concern over Haspel’s nomination.

Haspel’s work running a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 has been heavily scrutinized, and personnel at the facility are reported to have waterboarded at least one detainee. Haspel also has been connected to the destruction of video evidence of torture sessions.

At her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, she told Senate Intelligence Committee members that she “fully supports the detainee treatment required by law.”

Protesters from Code Pink are removed before Gina Haspel testifies at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images
Protesters from Code Pink are removed before Gina Haspel testifies at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

“We followed the law then, we followed the law today. I support the law,” she told Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). “I would not allow the CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if I thought it was technically legal.”

Her testimony was interrupted at least twice by additional protesters, including one who shouted “Bloody Gina” while being removed from the room.

Code Pink members have become regulars in Washington. The women-led, grassroots group, founded in 2002, has organized demonstrations on a range of issues, including health care, education, and human rights.

Last month, the group attended Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Senate confirmation hearing with signs urging his dismissal. They also protested outside the White House against the appointment of John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser. 

Members of Code Pink protest John Bolton's appointment as President Trump's national security advisor during a rally in front
Mark Wilson via Getty Images
Members of Code Pink protest John Bolton's appointment as President Trump's national security advisor during a rally in front of the White House on April 9.
CONVERSATIONS