You've probably already heard that Rex Tillerson was fired abruptly (the day after his public criticism of Russia, peculiarly) and that Mike Pompeo will be leaving the CIA to become secretary of state. Gina Haspel, the CIA's current deputy director, has been nominated to lead the agency.
The trouble is that Gina Haspel presided over appalling misuse of power, including egregious instances of torture and the destruction of evidence. This nomination, in my view, demands an outcry.
There's a pocket of internet Catholicism in which "pro-life" is only supposed to mean "opposed to abortion." And oh, this frustrates me: Catholics are pro-life because we believe in the unique and unrepeatable nature of each human life, in its immense value. We are pro-life because every human life is precious in the eyes of its creator. I invite you to look back at the images from Abu Ghraib and caption them accordingly. The naked bleeding man: "redeemed by the death of Our Lord"; the person with a dog's leash around his neck: "possessed of equal dignity before God"; the prisoner sodomized with a broomstick: "loved with a profound and enduring love."
The director of the CIA must grapple with difficult questions about the optimal response toward foreign actors who have demonstrated hostility toward the US. I believe in the justice of God as firmly as I believe in his mercy. But torture does not, cannot bring justice, and its use by American authorities is a foul stain on our history. Gina Haspel's history should disqualify her from taking the reins at the CIA. Tell your senators to vote against her confirmation.