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John Thune: Torture Ban is Settled Law

Image: John Thune: Torture Ban is Settled Law

Sen. John Thune. (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 08:35 AM

Sen. John Thune said on Wednesday that the country's torture ban is settled law, even though President Donald Trump suggested that the United States is not "playing on an even field" in interrogating suspected terrorists without it, noted several media sites.

Thune, the Senate Republican Conference chairman and third-ranking Senate Republican, appeared to step away from torture in comments while attending the annual joint Senate-House Republican retreat in Philadelphia, said The Hill.

"With respect to torture, that's banned," Thune said. "The Army Field Manual makes that very clear and the law now is tied to the Army Field Manual. We view that to be a matter of settled law."

Thune was asked about Trump possibly lifting the ban on CIA "black site" prisons where "enhanced interrogation techniques" were reportedly used in the past, said The Hill.

The 2005 Detainee Treatment Act bars any person in custody of the Department of Defense from being subjected to any interrogation technique not authorized by the Army Field Manual..

Trump said in an interview with ABC News that America had "to fight fire with fire," pointing to the terrorist group's atrocities against Christians.

"When ISIS is doing things that no one has ever heard of, since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?" Trump said.

Trump said he asked top intelligence officials this week if torture worked.

"And the answer was yes, absolutely," Trump said.

Trump told ABC News, though, that he would consult with his Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo before authorizing any new policy.

"… If they (Mattis and Pompeo) don't want to do (it), that's fine," Trump said. "And if they do want to do (torture), I will work toward that end."

CNN reported that Mattis has opposed the use of enhanced interrogation while Pompeo told senators during his confirmation hearing that he would not sanction the use of torture.

Sen. John McCain, who faced torture while a prisoner during the Vietnam War, voiced opposition to torture this week, noted CNN.

"The president can sign whatever executive orders he likes," McCain said in a statement. "But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America."

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Sen. John Thune said on Wednesday that the country's torture ban is settled law, even though President Donald Trump suggested that the United States is not "playing on an even field" in interrogating suspected terrorists without it, noted several media sites.
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Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 08:35 AM
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