Tags: CIA Torture Report | Trump Administration | torture | cia

Even in a Haspel CIA, Reviving Torture Would Be Difficult

Even in a Haspel CIA, Reviving Torture Would Be Difficult
Gina Haspel (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:47 AM

The start of confirmation hearings Wednesday for President Donald Trump’s nomination to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, will center on her past role in supervising torture within the agency, but it is very unlikely that the practice could be revived even if that was the desire of the administration, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The main reason reviving torture is unlikely is because most of the loopholes that allowed the Bush administration to create the torture program after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 have since been closed in all three branches of government.

The Supreme Court pushed back significantly against the expansion of executive power sanctioned by the Bush Justice Department following 9/11, which had argued that the attacks constituted an act of war and therefore triggered the president’s powers as commander-in-chief.

Congress also took steps to halt the torture program, passing legislation that limited interrogation techniques to those detailed in Army Field Manual 2-22.3, which effectively banned torture, according to the Post.

Since opposing torture is a rare bipartisan issue in Congress, it would be difficult to change the law again to restart the program.

The executive branch also took action to ban any return of torture, as President Barack Obama signed executive orders seeking to promote humane treatment of detainees.

Although Trump could reverse these executive orders, the other branches would be much more difficult to sway. In addition, the CIA itself internally examined its participation in torture and firmly rejected it.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's confirmation hearing on Wednesday is expected to focus on Haspel's oversight in 2002 of a secret "black site" in Thailand where harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding were used on suspected terrorists, according to USA Today.

Senators are also expected to question Haspel about her involvement in the destruction of 92 CIA videotapes that showed prisoners being waterboarded.

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The start of confirmation hearings Wednesday for President Donald Trump's nomination to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, will center on her past role in supervising torture within the agency, but it is very unlikely that the practice could be revived even if that was the desire...
torture, cia
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2018-47-08
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:47 AM
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