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John McCain: ‘We will not waterboard, we will not torture people’


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency, he spoke highly of the practice of waterboarding, even saying last year he’d restore it in a “heartbeat.”

Now that Trump has won the election and will become the next president of United States, talks of him bringing the tortuous interrogative technique have been picking up steam.

One Republican leader said waterboarding will never be allowed, and he doesn’t care who wants to bring it back.

Arizona Sen. John McCain spoke out against it at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday in Nova Scotia.

“If they started waterboarding, I swear to you a whole bunch of us would have them in court in a New York minute and there’s no judge in America that wouldn’t say they’re in violation of the law, because it’s specifically in law and now prohibited,” McCain said.

“So 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 people.”

McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, said extreme interrogation techniques are banned under U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.

“Last year on the defense authorization bill, we had an amendment that said that any agency of government, an interrogation has to be guided by the Army Field Manual. The Army Field Manual specifically states only certain things, threat techniques for interrogation that can be used. Waterboarding is not one of them,” McCain said.

With no other arguments involved, McCain said the torture tactic doesn’t even work in the first place. He said that anyone getting tortured that badly will say anything to get out of it, and will give out false information, putting those needing information on “wild goose chases.”

Even if it did work, McCain said it would be wrong for the country he is proud to represent.

“My God, what does it say about America if we’re going to inflict torture on people? McCain said. “It makes it hard for us to make the argument about the morals a priority of our way of government and our way of life.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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