WASHINGTON — The senator who led production of a landmark report on the CIA’s use of torture tactics wants more direct answers about waterboarding from President Trump’s nominee to be director of national intelligence.

Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has joined with Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, in asking Trump’s nominee, Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, to detail his views on the use of torture by the United States.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, has joined with Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in asking director of national intelligence nominee and Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe to detail his views on the use of torture by the United States. Greg Nash/Pool via Associated Press

“During your confirmation hearing, when asked by Sen. King whether you personally believed that waterboarding was a violation of anti-torture law, you again refused to answer directly, saying only that, ‘The law makes clear in several places that torture is illegal.’ In fact, we agree with you that U.S. law clearly outlaws all torture, as do several U.S. treaty obligations,” Feinstein and King wrote. “However, Sen. King’s question deserves a clear and unequivocal answer since President Trump has vowed to ‘bring back waterboarding (and) bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.’ ”

Both King and Feinstein are members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Feinstein is a former chairwoman of the committee. It was during her tenure as chairwoman that panel investigators produced a report on the use of torture in secret prisons under the direction of the CIA during the George W. Bush presidency.

The senators asked Ratcliffe, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, to answer whether he has read the executive summary of the Senate committee’s report.

“Do you believe that any of the CIA’s former enhanced interrogation techniques are consistent with the Detainee Treatment Act?” the senators wrote. “Do you believe that any of the CIA’s former enhanced interrogation techniques are consistent with the U.S. statutory prohibition on torture?”

The senators also asked Ratcliffe whether he believed any of the former tactics were consistent with other U.S. and international obligations, seeking a response prior to Senate votes on his nomination.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.