Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Rep. Buchanan Urges Senate to Confirm Haspel for CIA Chief

May 9, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today called on the U.S. Senate to confirm Gina Haspel as the first woman to head the CIA.

“Haspel has 30 years of experience and the toughness to run the world‘s premier intelligence agency,” Buchanan said. “The Senate should avoid political posturing and let her get to work protecting America.”

Buchanan said Haspel’s appointment is strongly supported by former top intelligence officials of the Obama administration, including ex-CIA Directors Leon Panetta and John Brennan, both of whom worked with Haspel.

The Congressman noted that one of those opposing Haspel’s nomination is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans. KSM, who is in custody facing the death penalty, wrote a brief statement that he wanted shared with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“The fact that al Qaeda’s architect of 9-11 doesn’t like Gina Haspel is even more reason to support her nomination,” Buchanan said.  

Panetta and Brennan both had high praise for Haspel. Brennan urged the Senate to “show that you put country above politics. Gina Haspel is a competent, experienced & highly qualified intelligence professional.”

Panetta, who led the agency for two years during Obama's presidency and was also a chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said: “I'm glad that it's Gina, because frankly, she is someone who really knows the CIA inside out."