Jan 25 2017
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on reports that President Trump will sign an executive order directing a review of interrogation policies:
“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.
“On June 16, 2015, the United States Senate voted 78-21 to adopt an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 that reaffirmed the prohibition on torture by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual. The Army Field Manual does not include waterboarding or other forms of enhanced interrogation. The law requires the field manual to be updated to ensure it ‘complies with the legal obligations of the United States and reflects current, evidence-based, best practices for interrogation that are designed to elicit reliable and voluntary statements and do not involve the use or threat of force.’ Furthermore, the law requires any revisions to the field manual be made available to the public 30 days prior to the date the revisions take effect.
“During both our personal conversations and his confirmation hearing, CIA Director Mike Pompeo repeatedly committed to me that he will comply with the law that applies the Army Field Manual’s interrogation requirements to all U.S. agencies, including the CIA. In response to written questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he ‘support[s] using the Army Field Manual as the single standard for all U.S. military interrogations.’ I am confident these leaders will be true to their word.”