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By: Elias J. Atienza
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul drew a sharp distinction between him and President Donald Trump on the issue of torture, which the president says he believes “absolutely works.”
“I’m alarmed by anybody that wants to go back to torture,” Paul told CNN. “The people in the Senate who have been tortured, mainly John McCain, don’t think torture is a good idea.”
In support of his remarks, Paul referenced the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA’s practice of torture. 119 people were detained between 2002-2008 in CIA ‘black sites’ and at least 26 detainees were ‘wrongfully held.’
“I think most Americans would be alarmed if 22 percent we picked up and tortured were the wrong people,” Paul said. “So yeah, I think there is a real problem: 1 whether it works or not, but 2 if we get the wrong people, there is no due process, there is no sort of time to say, well let’s have a trial to see who we have here.”
This comes after reports that the president might be ordering a review of CIA ‘black sites’ and enhanced interrogation techniques, which have been slammed by human rights groups and Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.
“It’s currently against the law and I hope it will remain against the law,” Paul said.
Paul voted against the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, writing in Rare that he “[was] worr[ied] that his desire for security will trump his defense of liberty.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis is against the use of torture. After the death of an Iraqi prisoner at a detention center under his command in Iraq in 2003, Mattis convened an inquiry into the death and banned the practice. Mattis was ‘blindsided‘ by the drafts of the executive order according to The Week.