CIA Will Refuse Torture Orders If Donald Trump Becomes President

As Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump promises to bring back waterboarding and “worse” torture practices, some are saying he had better bring his own bucket.

Top former officials have stated that if Donald Trump becomes president, the CIA would refuse to reinstate waterboarding and other torture practices and would rather resign or retire instead.

Trump has repeatedly pledged in recent rallies that should he be elected, he would order the CIA to bring back waterboarding, or “worse” torture practices. Trump claims that torture works, saying, “It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work.”

In November, Donald Trump stated that even if torture doesn’t work, it should still be used, because he reckons terror suspects “deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing.”

Now, former CIA agency officials are saying that he would face huge resistance to any requests of this nature.

John Yoo, an administration official from the George W. Bush administration, told Fox News that Donald Trump had completely misunderstood the use of torture techniques.

“I’m afraid Mr. Trump thinks of waterboarding, or worse, as a kind of punishment, like a sentence [or] revenge or reprisals.”

Yoo continued by saying that it not the purpose of torture. It is not intended to take revenge for past acts, but is intended to figure out how to get intelligence to stop future attacks.

According to John Rizzo – formerly a CIA lawyer when the agency still used “enhanced interrogation techniques,” or EITs on prisoners – he predicts that officials in the CIA would rather resign than obey orders to resume “hard measures” like beatings and waterboarding.

According to Rizzo, everything the CIA does now is “humane, lawful and based on the best science available.”

He went on to say that many who were connected to the EIT program over its six years’ span – and reportedly there are hundreds still there – “would resign or retire rather than have to go down that perilous road again.”

The effectiveness of waterboarding has been hotly debated for years, with former CIA and FBI interrogators publicly stating that such measures not only violate the Geneva Convention prohibitions on torture, but are also not effective in the long run.

According to Frazier Thompson, in charge of the federal unit that interrogates terror suspects, this type of treatment doesn’t work. He told NPR that “rapport-based techniques elicit the most credible information.”

When revelations of the torture techniques surfaced into the public eye a decade ago – revealing the CIA was using waterboarding and other techniques on prisoners in secret prisons around the world – this led to a global uproar and to a controversial Senate Intelligence Committee investigation. This controversy hit the CIA so hard one of its former heads, General Michael Hayden, stated that the agency would never use torture again.


Hayden was famous for saying in an ABC TV documentary, The Spymasters, “If some future president is going to decide to waterboard, he’d better bring his own bucket, because he’s going to have to do it himself.”

James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence, said recently that the CIA should stick with the stricter Army Field Manual on interrogations, as it reportedly “comports with American values.”

Rizzo agrees with Hayden and says woe to any CIA director who receives orders from a potential President Donald Trump to resume waterboarding or worse torture practices.

“I pity the poor SOB who is President Trump’s CIA director and gets the order to do interrogation techniques ‘worse’ than waterboarding, not to mention the CIA general counsel or Justice Department attorney general who has the legal issue dropped in his or her lap.”

According to Rizzo, if the CIA heads don’t resign, they would most certainly face a “world of hurt” in the media, as well as in the courts and on Capitol Hill.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]