On January 25, 2017 The Washington Post publishing a draft executive order (EO) entitled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants.” This draft order appears to be an attempt to pave the way to reopen CIA “black sites” and reauthorize so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” which are illegal under both domestic and international law.
Among other matters, the draft EO would reinstate Executive Order 13440 from 2007, which was criticized by the military as well as by President Reagan appointees General P.X. Kelley and Robert F. Turner, for giving “the CIA carte blanche to engage in ‘willful and outrageous acts of personal abuse.’”
Secretary of Defense General James Mattis has cited rapport-based interrogation techniques as more effective than torture at gaining actionable intelligence. Professional interrogators agree with General Mattis that torture is ineffective, as do 176 retired generals and admirals who wrote to President Trump in January 2017, stating that torture “undermines our national security.” This group of high ranking retired military leaders affirm that torture “increases the risks to our troops, hinders cooperation with allies, [and] alienates populations whose support the United States needs in the struggle against terrorism.”
This document summarizes the provisions in the draft EO.