Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he thinks torture is a great idea and that it works in getting information from people, even though it is a war crime and the evidence suggests that any information generated by it is largely useless. He initially suggested that he wanted to reopen the so-called ‘black sites’, prions that were located overseas where prisoners could be tortured under the direction of the CIA, thus creating a slight distance from direct involvement in war crimes and providing a possible legal loophole.
But it appears that he has now backed off on a draft Executive Order to re-open the black sites, though we do not know if this also means backing off on authorizing torture altogether.
The Trump administration has for now backed off a draft executive order that would have called for a review of whether the United States should reopen overseas “black site” prisons, where interrogation techniques often condemned as torture were used, U.S. officials have told Reuters.
The now-defunct CIA program used so-called enhanced interrogation practices, including simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, that were criticized around the world and denounced by former President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials as torture.
News of the draft executive order last week led to a bipartisan outcry in Congress. The draft plans also met with bitter resistance from the CIA and the military, according to officials in both.
“If the president had ordered us to waterboard anyone, let alone start pulling out fingernails, this place would have started to empty out,” said one longtime CIA officer.
You know things are bad when the CIA, with its awful history, tells the president that he is going too far. The Trump administration is leaking like a sieve as lower level people feel that that is the only way to keep things even partially in check.
One wonders what Trump, who hates to be seen as weak and thinks that reconsidering any idea is a sign of weakness, will feel about reports of him having to back down on this, following his setbacks on immigrants and refugees.