US President Donald Trump has said he believes torture works, saying “we have to fight fire with fire”.
Mr Trump told ABC News he would consult Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo about what could be done legally to combat radicalism.
The president said while radical groups beheaded people in the Middle East “we’re not playing on an even field”.
However, ex-CIA director Leon Panetta said it would be a “serious mistake to take a backward step” on torture.
Mr Trump said he wanted to “keep our country safe”.
“When they’re shooting, when they’re chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when Isis is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since Medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?” he said.
“I have spoken with people at the highest level of intelligence and I asked them the question ‘Does it work? Does torture work?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, absolutely’.
He continued: “They chop them off and they put them on camera and send them all over the world. So we have that and we’re not allowed to do anything?
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing a sweeping executive order that would clear the way for the C.I.A. to reopen overseas “black site” prisons, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before former President Barack Obama shut them down.
President Trump’s three-page draft order, titled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants” and obtained by The New York Times, would also undo many of the other restrictions on handling detainees that Mr. Obama put in place in response to policies of the George W. Bush administration.
If Mr. Trump signs the draft order, he would also revoke Mr. Obama’s directive to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees in American custody.
At his Wednesday press briefing, Pres. Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer denied that the administration had anything to do with a leaked draft of an executive order that would lift the current ban on U.S. torture of detainees.
“It is not a White House document,” Spicer said, according to Talking Points Memo. “I have no idea where it came from.”
The New York Times reported Wednesday morning that Pres. Trump is preparing to lift the Obama administration’s ban on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and so-called “black sites” where detainees are stripped of their rights and protections and can be held and tortured with impunity for years.
The Times based its report on a 3-page draft of an executive order called “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants.”
At his press conference on Wednesday, however, Spicer denied the document’s authenticity when asked about it by a reporter.
“It is not a White House document, and I would just urge those people who have reported on it, this is now I think the second day that we’ve had a document that was not a White House document get reported on as a factual document,” he said. “It is not a White House document. I have no idea where it came from.”
“I’m not going to start answering hypotheticals about documents that are floating around,” Spicer snapped at NBC reporter Kristen Welker before moving on to the next question.
On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns — after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces — at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.
There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy. Winston was taking part in a demonstration in one of the central London squares at the moment when it happened. It was night, and the white faces and the scarlet banners were luridly floodlit. The square was packed with several thousand people, including a block of about a thousand schoolchildren in the uniform of the Spies. On a scarlet-draped platform an orator of the Inner Party, a small lean man with disproportionately long arms and a large bald skull over which a few lank locks straggled, was haranguing the crowd. A little Rumpelstiltskin figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats. The most savage yells of all came from the schoolchildren. The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker’s hand. He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different. Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia! The next moment there was a tremendous commotion. The banners and posters with which the square was decorated were all wrong! Quite half of them had the wrong faces on them. It was sabotage! The agents of Goldstein had been at work! There was a riotous interlude while posters were ripped from the walls, banners torn to shreds and trampled underfoot. The Spies performed prodigies of activity in clambering over the rooftops and cutting the streamers that fluttered from the chimneys. But within two or three minutes it was all over. The orator, still gripping the neck of the microphone, his shoulders hunched forward, his free hand clawing at the air, had gone straight on with his speech. One minute more, and the feral roars of rage were again bursting from the crowd. The Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed.
The thing that impressed Winston in looking back was that the speaker had switched from one line to the other actually in midsentence, not only without a pause, but without even breaking the syntax.
George Orwell’s tale of a sad, grim future, the book1984, has experienced a recent resurgence, climbing to the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller list of books.
The book, written in 1949, required reading for many in high school and college, was No. 1 on the list on Wednesday morning.
It’s in such demand that publisher Penguin has ordered a 75,000-book reprint, CNN reported.