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Wichita Nun Hopeful Pompeo Will Maintain Anti-Torture Stance As CIA Director

Nadya Faulx
Sister Bernadine Wessel stands outside of U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo's district office in Wichita. She delivered a petition Wednesday regarding statements Pompeo made during his Senate confirmation hearing regarding the use of torture by the CIA.

A Wichita nun delivered a petition Wednesday calling on U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo to refrain from using torture if he's confirmed as head of the CIA.

Sister Bernadine Wessel of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ brought the petition -- signed by 4500 Christians from across Kansas -- to Mike Pompeo’s office in east Wichita. The petition outlines a request for Pompeo to follow through on remarks he made during his Senate confirmation hearing last week regarding the use of torture as an interrogation technique. Army regulations already prohibit certain interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding.

Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW
Wessel, with Chris Pumpelly of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, walks toward Pompeo's office to deliver a folder containing a petition and 4500 signatures.

When asked by California Senator Diane Feinstein if he would ever comply with a presidential order to reinstate the agency’s use of torture, Pompeo replied, “Senator, absolutely not.” He said he couldn't imagine President-elect Donald Trump making the request.

Sister Bernadine said she and other members of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture want to hold Pompeo accountable.

“We want him to keep his promise," she said. "Words are easy. But to keep those words is not always easy.”

The same petition was also delivered to Pompeo’s office in Washington.


Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.

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Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.