Press release

United States: The Importance of 'Rule of Law' for an Intelligence Chief

United States President Trump nominated Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.


In response to President Trump nominating Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and nominating Gina Haspel, the CIA’s deputy director, to become chief of the intelligence agency, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“We hope that the new nominee for secretary of state makes clear that the defense and strengthening of democracy around the world are central elements of the State Department's mission," said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. "On the administration's choice of a new director for the CIA, we are concerned by the nomination of a person who previously oversaw a secret overseas prison where torture took place. Torture—which includes waterboarding and other so-called ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques—is illegal under U.S. and international law. We urge the administration to explicitly rule out the use of such techniques. Democracy rests upon the protection of fundamental freedoms for all, a cause in which the United States should lead by example."

The United States is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2017.