National Security

McCain Defies Trump’s Review Of Terrorist Interrogation Policies

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Sen. John McCain rejected President Donald Trump’s pending review of U.S. interrogation policies of suspected terrorists Wednesday before the order was even signed.

Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday which will reportedly call for a review of U.S. interrogation policies and whether or not the CIA should reopen so-called “black site” interrogation facilities in foreign countries. The order reportedly includes a continuation for the use of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

“The President can sign whatever executive orders he likes. But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America,” said McCain in a statement Wednesday.

McCain, who was once tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was a vocal critic of the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques; the senator considers them torture. Congress outlawed the use of the techniques, which included waterboarding, after use against captured terrorists was discovered. The senate reaffirmed the prohibition on torture in the 2015 defense authorization act, limiting interrogation techniques to those prescribed by the U.S. Army Field Manual.

“During both our personal conversations and his confirmation hearing, CIA Director Mike Pompeo repeatedly committed to me that he will comply with the law that applies the Army Field Manual’s interrogation requirements to all U.S. agencies, including the CIA,” said McCain in the statement.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis also supports the current law.

The proposed order reportedly instructs senior national security officials to “recommend to the president whether to reinitiate a program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States and whether such program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agencies.”

The order also specifies that U.S. law should be obeyed, and rejects the use of “torture.”

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