Trump Administration

23 petitions

Started 4 months ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, Charles Schumer

Block Gina Haspel to Lead the CIA

     Gina Haspel, Trump's designee to lead the CIA, may be a good choice to run a spy agency in an eastern bloc country with a thuggish reputation. She is plainly the wrong person with the wrong experience on the wrong side of history to lead in our American democracy.       Though her appointment may strike fear in the hearts of a few terrorists, her criminal conduct (under US Law and the Geneva Convention) remain abhorrent to the decent millions here and abroad. In the years following 9/11, Haspel provided operational support and leadership for Bush's Extraordinary Rendition Program, in which suspected terrorists were kidnapped (or 'disappeared'), transported across borders to secret prisons, and subjected to torture, from repeated near-drowning and slamming of the head against walls, to prolonged sleep deprivation. When the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and secret rendition sites ignited a global outcry, Haspel, a real-life 'deep state operative,' did not debate or defend her methods of torture. Instead, she signed a secret order in 2005 to destroy videos of CIA torture sessions. Making Haspel the nation's top spy runs counter to our American ideals of non-violence, transparency, due process, equality under the law, and above all, a national policy driven by ethics and our belief in unalienable human rights.      For Haspel, these rights appear alienable. The program she helped to establish depended on no small amount of Islamophobia to distort popular opinion and pervert the psychologists or lawyers paid to justify torture. Haspel's ascendance emboldens those here and abroad who feel, like Steve Bannon, that the labels of racist, anti-immigrant, and nativist are "badges of pride." During our next national crisis, will Trump will add Torturer-In-Chief to the list? Throughout the 2016 election, he made it clear that he will fancy the title.       Ultimately, Haspel's confirmation would elevate a blindly loyal torturer and evidence-tamperer to the highest levels of our government. Is this the message we will choose to send to our children?  Are these the real rules of the 21st century? For Putin, Assad, Duterte, and el-Sisi, certainly. For Trump, apparently.        Leaders of the Senate: you must reject Haspel unequivocally. Send our message: we will not tolerate attempts from The White House to sell out our cherished ideals. Justice and liberty are the only ways to make America great.   

C. Gansa
20 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Bob Goodlatte, Jim Sensenbrenner, Lamar Smith, Steve Chabot, Darrell Issa, Steve King, Jim Jordan, Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Tom Marino, Trey Gowdy, Raul Labrador, Blake Farenthold, Doug Collins, Ron DeSantis, John Ratcliffe, Martha Roby, Matt Gaetz, Mike Johnson, Andy Biggs, John Rutherford, Karen Handel, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Cohen, Hank Johnson, Ted Deutch, Luis Gutierrez, Karen Bass, Cedric Richmond, Hakeem Jeffries, David Cicilline, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin, Pramila Jayapal, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, John Cornyn, Michael Lee, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, Thom Tillis, John Kennedy, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Christopher Coons, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Neal Dunn, General Mark Inch, Frank Lara

Safety of Public and Law Enforcement Threatened by Budget Cuts and Privatization

This week the Bureau of Prisons has started to eliminate roughly 14% (or 6,000) law enforcement positions throughout the Agency. This is catastrophic for the safety and security of our institutions and the community. The proposed cuts are coming at a time of severe understaffing in most of our federal prisons, because the BOP has left thousands of authorized correctional workers’ positions vacant all year. In 2005 the BOP instituted an initiative known as “Mission Critical” in which staffing at the BOP institutions was reduced to the minimal amount necessary to safely operate each facility. Since then we have continued to operate under this “bare bones” approach, which was less staff than what we really needed – the administration did not take into account leave usage, injuries, military service, emergency situations etc. when calculating these numbers. Since then, they have relied upon initiatives such as augmentation at various times (The term augmentation refers to the practice of using teachers, secretaries, nurses, etc. to cover the vacant correctional officer positions as opposed to hiring the law enforcement officers needed). They only left enough personnel in the prisons to cover essential operations, so whenever something happens outside of that, like inmate medical trips or staff using sick leave when they are ill or injured, the Agency is then forced to pay overtime to law enforcement officers to cover it. Their miscalculation in staffing led to massive amounts of overtime due to the sheer amount of disturbances and medical care in the institution, coupled with the injuries and stress borne by the staff. This leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. It also results in one law enforcement correctional worker supervising hundreds of dangerous felons - terrorists, gangs, and murderers – with no backup. This administration is setting the agency up for failure. As violence and recidivism rises, and our staff struggle to meet ACA accreditation requirements, the line staff will be blamed for these failures, and the administration will point to this as an excuse to contract out our law enforcement role to the private prison industry. The highly trained staff that work for this agency (30% of which are military veterans) have already proven that we provide the essential, inherently governmental function in a much more responsible and cost-effective manner than the private industry. The historical data and evidence backs this up without question. If we allow the administration to sabotage our operations with the dangerous staffing changes and policies, I’m confident that they will use the results against us, and I’m sure the shareholders in the private prison industry will profit from it. The number of staff assaults and inmate assaults continue to rise in the Bureau of Prisons, and it appears the agency is turning a blind eye to the safety of the community that we are sworn to protect from the nation's most violent offenders These poorly implemented tactics have led to the increased escape attempts and assaults within the BOP, for both inmates and our law enforcement personnel. Agency leaders have stated that assaults and escapes are the chances we take in this line of work. Its disheartening to know that they are willing to take chances with the safety of the community as well as the safety of the law enforcement that work behind the fences. We are asking that our elected officials properly fund our prisons, stop the reductions of safe staffing, and support our law enforcement officers. A vote for BOP cutbacks is a vote for unsafe prisons, unsafe communities and a vote against law enforcement.  Call 202-224-3121 or 844-669-5146 and tell our law makers not to cut back on safety  

Ray Coleman
14,208 supporters