Senior advisors to the FBI-led team that interrogates terrorist suspects has blasted an impending executive order from Donald Trump as a dangerous and ignorant potential return to torture.
Opposition was quickly coalescing to an executive order the US president was expected to issue that would create a pathway to restoring the detention of terrorism suspects at facilities known as “black sites”, formally ending Barack Obama’s thwarted order to close the Guantánamo Bay wartime prison. This would also remove limitations on coercive interrogation techniques set by a longstanding army field manual intended to ensure humane military interrogations, which is mostly compliant with the Geneva Conventions.
Senator John McCain, a torture survivor and co-author of a 2015 law barring the security agencies from using interrogation techniques that surpass the prohibitions in the army field manual, pledged defiance over a return to torture.
Fallon, the former Guantánamo investigative official, said the call for surpassing the torture prohibitions was not coming from interrogators. “It’s against what practitioners are calling for. What President Trump needs to recognize is that interrogations professionals are not looking for additional techniques, they’re looking for the science to aid existing techniques,” he said.
Hours after the supposed draft order leaked, representatives of the CIA and the Pentagon distanced themselves from the unfolding political fracas.
“At this time, the US army has not made any requests to review Army Field Manual 2-22.3,” a spokesman told the Guardian, using the formal designation for the interrogations field manual. Similarly, CIA sources leaked to Yahoo News that Pompeo was blindsided by the draft of the order.