Yeomans: Torture Rears Its Ugly Head

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Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 11, 2018 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Goldfarb Fellow for Justice Bill Yeomans writes that Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become CIA director is a terrible reminder of a shameful episode in U.S. history. He notes, “Her nomination is an eye-popping example of our nation’s failure to reckon with the moral catastrophe of our descent into torturing prisoners of war.  Her confirmation should be unthinkable, but it appears likely.”

Yeomans writes that to this day, no one has been held accountable for the CIA’s violations of domestic and international law in carrying out its torture program.  Not only that, but President Trump campaigned on a promise to bring back waterboarding and “much worse.” That remark by candidate Trump should have been disqualifying, Yeomans observes, because it was “an announcement that he intended to engage in war crimes.”  With the nomination of Haspel, Trump has doubled down on his disrespect for the rule of law and disregard for human rights.

Sadly, Yeomans writes, Haspel’s nomination “sends a strong message to the country and the world that the United States is not all that concerned about or regretful for its use of torture.”

Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at or 202-464-7367.