'Torture Works' President Trump to Revive Practice?
If President Trump has proved anything in his first six days as Commander in Chief of the United States, he’s proved that his is sticking to his guns. One thing that he continuously spoke about on the campaign trail was the use of torture. Now, it seems his administration is working to make it a reality.
In a draft order published by The New York Times and The Washington Post gives the assumption that the Trump administration will be looking to revive the practice of torture as well as open up the detention camp at Gitmo for new detainees, annul an Obama-era directive that confined interrogations to techniques in the Army Field Manual, and give the Red Cross access to all detainees held by the United States.
The order directs 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.”
On the campaign trail, Trump spoke animatedly about how “torture works.” Trump defended the practice by saying that even if it doesn’t work, “they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing.”
At a White House Press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that he did not know where the document was from, did not believe it was an official White House document and that he would not comment on “draft” orders.
Many believe that torture cannot be revived in an Executive order alone. In 2015, an amendment was attached to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act by the Senate. This amendment banned torture by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual. The Senate vote was 78-21, overwhelming especially considering the fact that the Senate was largely Republican at the time.
Senator John McCain, a torture survivor himself, has issued a public statement saying that, “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.”
Many lawyers believe that the law making torture illegal is very close to ironclad. Some believe that Trump will be handed down a report from top security intelligence officials that will advise him that a return of torture is not legally available.