US President Donald Trump’s new nominees for secretary of state and CIA director are deeply troubling because of their past endorsements of torture, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo to head the US State Department and Gina Haspel the CIA “do not bode well for US commitments to uphold basic rights and the rule of law at home and abroad,” the US-based rights group said Wednesday.
Last year, Human Rights Watch opposed Pompeo to be CIA director partly because of his prior endorsement of torture. During his Senate confirmation hearing in January 2017, Pompeo failed to explicitly renounce the US government’s use of torture and mass surveillance.
In a speech in January, he implicitly endorsed coercive methods, saying that if CIA officers said they “missed an opportunity to obtain information from a detainee … we’re going to begin to move heaven and earth to make sure that something like that…