Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan has made the statement that he will not allow the CIA to engage in waterboarding or any such “enhanced interrogation techniques” even if refusal to do so would entail defying an executive order from a future president.
“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” Brennan said.
Brennan has a record of making contradictory statements when it comes to the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but he remained firm when prompted further by reporters on Sunday, reiterating he “would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”
Brennan seemed to be referring to remarks made by Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, the two Republican front runners in the presidential election. Both candidates have said they would consider ending Obama’s ban on the use of waterboarding and similar techniques by the US. President Obama banned the use of what many refer to as torture by the CIA and other US agencies by executive order shortly after taking office in 2009.
“I would bring back waterboarding,” Donald Trump said during a debate in New Hampshire. “And I would bring back a hell of a lot worse.”
Trump scoffed at the idea that a CIA director would refuse an order from him if it constituted a war crime.
“They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. If I say do it, they’re going to do it,” he said at a debate in March.