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

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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.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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