Rubio responds to protester who interrupted Haspel hearing

Greg Nash

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday responded to a protester who interrupted Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing for CIA director over her ties to an enhanced interrogation program.


Rubio noted that the U.S. treats prisoners “much better” than the victims of terror attacks.

“To answer the protester at todays hearing who shouted at Haspel ‘What do you do to human beings in U.S. custody’, we treat them much better than they treated the innocent people they beheaded on video or killed on 9/11 or in some terror attack,” Rubio tweeted.

Several protesters spoke up through the course of Haspel’s Senate hearing on Wednesday morning. All of them took issue with Haspel’s connection to an enhanced interrogation program in the George W. Bush administration. The program used methods that are now widely regarded as torture.

One protester shouted, “Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! Bloody Gina! You are a torturer!” until she was removed by Capitol Police.

Another protester, who was identified as former CIA officer turned activist Ray McGovern, began yelling about waterboarding shortly afterward.

Capitol Police, who went to remove him from the hearing, could be heard yelling at him to “stop resisting.”

Prior to the start of Haspel’s hearing, a group of Code Pink protesters began chanting to protest Haspel’s appointment and were quickly placed under arrest by Capitol Police.

Several had to be forcibly dragged from the room, shouting “Stop the torture!” 

Several Democrats have said they will oppose her nomination because of Haspel’s ties to the Bush-era program. Other senators have noted it is a cause for concern but wanted to hear Haspel explain her role.

During her hearing, Haspel pledged not to bring back the program.

“I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership, on my watch, the CIA will not restart a detention and interrogation program,” Haspel said.

Tags CIA enhanced interrogation program Marco Rubio

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