As if threatening to invade Chicago, ordering an investigation into the insane lie that 3-5 million “illegals” stole the popular vote from him and ordering his Berlin Wall weren’t destructive enough, if Trump signs a draft order, Bush-era torture, and black sites will make a comeback.
A tweet by Charlie Savage, who first reported on the 3-page draft Executive Order on the Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants is telling about the depth of our descent to emulating the worst of humanity.
I got a copy of Trump draft exec order on detainees. In normal times there'd be half a dozen front page stories here https://t.co/b09fzS95mO
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) January 25, 2017
As Savage noted in his report for the NYT; if, or more likely when, Trump signs the document, to re-establish the Bush administration’s war crimes program, shut down by former President Obama, he would also revoke former President Obama’s directive giving the ICRC access to all detainees in American custody.
The draft’s explanatory notes claim the US has “refrained from exercising certain authorities critical to its defense” in the war against terrorism, including “a halt to all classified interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency.”
The order’s call for a recommendation to the president on whether to “reinstate a program of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States and whether such a program should include the use of detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency” just falls short of an order to re-establish dark sites.
As noted by WaPo’s Greg Miller, it’s likely the CIA will oppose these proposals if Trump signs the order given that it faced criminal investigations and a backlash for implementing similar policies per orders by former President George W. Bush.
Congressional members condemned the draft order, which Democrat Nancy Pelosi described as “a step backward.”
Watch here courtesy of The Washington Post:
John McCain condemned the draft order, saying: Trump “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.”
If Trump signs the order, the results will be the polar opposite of his jingoistic claim to “make America safe again.” In reality, a return to violating international norms increases the likelihood and frequency of our POW’s being tortured or worse. It’s even more unlikely that ISIS and its allies will comply with Geneva Law requirements such as providing the ICRC with unfettered access to American POW’s.
Upon establishing this precedent, it’s very likely our Troops will be under the same threats with other nations or anyone else in future conflicts.
This is one of those things that Trump’s backers were “certain” was just talk that would never happen. As recently, as Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing, the now confirmed head of the CIA “doubted” Trump would ask him to “restart the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside the Army field manual” which includes a ban on waterboarding and other forms of torture.
It should be noted that the draft order also calls for a review of the Army Field Manual, making it possible to “legalize” water-boarding and other forms of torture.