Sen. John McCain of Arizona issued a forceful warning to the incoming Trump administration on Saturday, declaring that any government agency that reinstates waterboarding will be taken to court in a “New York minute.”
McCain, who himself survived torture while he was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, made the remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in response to a question about Congress’ power to rein in a president on issues such as waterboarding.
“I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do, or anybody else wants to do — we will not waterboard, we will not torture,” he said to applause.
“My friends, it doesn’t work. If you inflict enough pain on somebody long enough, they’re going to tell you whatever they think you want to hear to get it to stop.”
During his campaign, Trump advocated for reinstating waterboarding and “enhanced interrogation techniques” as a means to question suspected terrorists. He even expressed a desire to use torture methods more severe than waterboarding.
“I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in February.
McCain said waterboarding and other torture methods are prohibited by federal law and the Geneva Convention, and argued that no judge in the country wouldn’t view torture as a violation of those laws.
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