Gina Haspel has spent her entire life keeping America safe. She is a career CIA officer who has served during key times in our nations recent history – including the Cold War and during 9/11.
She is an intelligence expert with a full understanding of the varying aspects of the CIA and the Intelligence Community (IC), developed through her close work with officers across the Agency and the IC.
Haspel has extensive counterterrorism experience, having served in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and in the field. Through her senior roles at the CIA, Haspel has gained significant management experience and developed a strong working relationship with the White House and Administration Officials. Haspel has received multiple awards and recognitions during her distinguished career, including: The Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in federal civil service and The George H.W. Bush Award, granted for excellence in counterterrorism.
Her first job in counter terrorism was the day of 9/11 – and she didn’t breakdown. Instead, she got to work seeking to keep us safe and prevent other attacks.
Haspel enjoys widespread support from CIA Directors and Chiefs of Staff from Republican and Democratic Administrations. Even the fiercest critics of the President such as past CIA Directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan have urged Senate Democrats to confirm Haspel, a well-qualified nominee to lead the agency. Senator Mark Warner, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee as Vice Chair, should take this advice to heart.
Not only does Mr. Warner serve as a leader on the Committee, he also represents Langley, Virginia and many CIA professionals that call the Commonwealth of Virginia their home. It would be unwise for Senator Warner to reject an immensely qualified nominee to lead an agency that resides in his state of representation, all for partisan reasons.
Sacrificing our national security to make a political statement is irresponsible and demeaning. Senator Warner voted to confirm John Brennan to lead the CIA as did Tim Kaine, the other Senator here in Virginia. Senator Kaine has already chosen the path of partisan games, opposing Ms. Haspel simply because he doesn’t like President Trump. You can be certain that if Mr. Kaine were Vice President and Hillary Clinton had nominated Haspel to this post he would be her biggest advocate.
Brennan played a much larger role than Haspel did in regards to the enhanced interrogation program, which Warner and Kaine seem to have issues with. Yet, they voted to confirm Brennan – this is partisanship at its worst.
The President has appointed a nominee to lead the CIA that is very qualified. She has spent her entire life and career serving our nation and helping keep America safe.
Senator Warner has the opportunity to reject partisan games and do the right thing by voting to confirm Haspel – our national security rides on it.
I hope that Senator Warner does the opposite of Senator Kaine and votes yes to confirm Gina Haspel as CIA Director.
Bryce Reeves currently represents the 17th Senate District of Virginia.