John McCain says he will not allow Donald Trump to bring back torture

The Arizona senator and former prisoner of war was tortured in Vietnam

Rachael Revesz
New York
Wednesday 25 January 2017 21:04
Comments
Mr McCain was tortured in Vietnam as a prisoner of war - he was released after almost six years
Mr McCain was tortured in Vietnam as a prisoner of war - he was released after almost six years

John McCain has warned that he and his colleagues will prevent Donald Trump from bringing back torture before the President signs his next executive order.

The Arizona senator and former prisoner of war said in a statement: "We are not bringing back torture.

"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."

Mr McCain sits on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. He is a widely respected senator and was a prisoner of war for six years in Vietnam until 1973, during which time he was tortured.

The New York Times reported that President Trump is drafting a three-page order on “detention and interrogation on enemy combatants” that would allow interrogators to use techniques outside of the Army Field Manual.

He is also calling for a review of the manual, according to the executive order.

The executive order would also reopen “back site” prisons overseas, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before they were shut down by former President Obama.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump advocate bringing back waterboarding

Newly-appointed CIA director Mike Pompeo, who previously said he was for using torture methods, told Mr McCain that he would "comply with the law that applies the Army Field Manual’s interrogation requirements to all US agencies."

During his senate confirmation hearing, Mr Pomeo told senators, "You have my full commitment” when asked if he would ensure that the CIA under his control would not be involved in the "enhanced interrogation business".

James Mattis, the new secretary of defense, gave similar commitments to the senate. The senate voted to approve him to the post despite him only being a civilian for three years, not seven years as is usually required.

The Senate passed an amendment in 2015 from Mr McCain that banned torture interrogation techniques, yet President Trump said on the campaign trail that he was in favour of waterboarding and a "hell of a lot worse".

Mr McCain told reporters he estimated the Senate would hold another vote to ban “enhanced interrogation” if the President pushed to bring back torture.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in