Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain fired a shot across the president-elect’s bow on Saturday when he said that under no conditions will the U.S. return to its “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding under a Pres. Donald Trump.
Politico said McCain was speaking at the annual Halifax International Security Forum when he told the audience, “I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard. We will not torture people…It doesn’t work.”
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly said that his administration would disregard the Geneva Convention and other rules of international combat if the U.S.’s interests were at stake.
“What do you think about waterboarding?” Trump said at one rally. “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough.”
The audience roared its approval.
On Friday, Trump announced Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) as his choice to head the CIA. Pompeo has defended the Bush administration’s illegal interrogations, saying that waterboarding does not rise to the level of torture.
Some security officials have predicted that members of the armed forces will refuse to obey orders if the Trump administration orders them to resume torturing detainees.
Congress banned waterboarding and other cruel forms of interrogation in 2005. Under a law signed by Pres. Barack Obama in 2015, only interrogation practices listed in the U.S. Army Field Manual are allowed.