President Donald Trump said Wednesday that intelligence professionals have told him torture "absolutely" works and that the U.S. must "fight fire with fire" when it comes to combating terrorists. "If they do want to do, then I will work toward that end", the president said.
In an interview with ABC News, Trump indicated he wants to resume the use of torture in order to fight back against groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that have committed atrocities against USA citizens. The draft order also directs the secretary of defense to review the manual and make modifications to allow for the "safe, lawful, and effective" interrogation of terror suspects.
The three-page order would also reinstate a Bush-era interrogation program that was shut down in 2009 by former President Barack Obama, who said its methods constituted torture.
"I'm not sure where it came from or where it originated, but it is not a White House document", he said.
"I think that it's been clear, certainly since we stopped the enhanced interrogation program, we're not even in a position any more frankly where [we're] out and catching people", Cheney said.
"I will rely on [CIA Director] Pompeo and [Defense Secretary] Mattis and my group and if they don't want to do, that's fine". But another section of the draft states "no person in the custody of the United States shall at any time be subjected to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as described by US or global law". "But the law is the law", said Republican Sen.
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McCain cited the National Defense Authorization Act put into place during the Obama administration that "reaffirmed the prohibition on torture by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual". Trump said. "As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire".
However, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has just declared in a press conference that, "It is not a White House document".
The AP obtained the draft order from a USA official, who said it had been distributed by the White House for consultations before Mr Trump signs it.
NYT acknowledged in their report that the Trump White House did not respond to a request for comment on the draft order.
One intelligence insider who asked not to be identified by name because he was not authorized to discuss the issue said subsequent divulging of the existence of black sites embarrassed some of the nations that hosted them, making re-establishment of the practice hard.