Torture Is Poised For a Comeback. Also: Black Sites and Guantanamo.


As we all know, President Obama signed an executive order banning torture when he took office. That can be reversed with the stroke of a pen. However, Charlie Savage of the New York Times has gotten a copy of a proposed new executive order which notes that last year Congress put this ban largely into law:

Interrogation is limited to methods in the Army Field Manual. What to do?

There you go. Just change the Army Field Manual. But no worries: the proposed EO goes on to say that no prisoner will ever be “subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, as proscribed by U.S. law.” That will work great, unless Trump finds another John Yoo to assure him that pretty much nothing qualifies under this definition. I wonder if Trump’s new attorney general can do that?

Waterboarding isn’t back yet, but apparently the Trump administration is thinking really hard about it.