Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says any effort to reinstate enhanced interrogation techniques by a future president would be met with a flat out refusal to carry out the order by CIA officers who feel burned by what happened in the aftermath of the disclosure of the original post 9/11 enhanced interrogation techniques program.
When asked in a recent interview to address recent comments made by Donald Trump about bringing back waterboarding, Hayden reiterated a line he first used in a Showtime documentary released this past fall called The Spymasters — CIA in the Crosshairs, saying, “Like the man said, if you want somebody waterboarded, bring your own damn bucket.”
Hayden is not the only current or former CIA official that feels this way, according to a new NBC News report. John Rizzo, a former top lawyer at CIA, and Bill Harlow, a former CIA spokesman, told the network that they have spoken to several current and former CIA officials who share Hayden’s feelings and the general consensus around the agency is that even if the country was attacked and Congress passed a law specifically authorizing EITs, nobody at the agency would carry out the order.
“They didn’t expect people in their own government to turn on them, and they didn’t expect people in Congress to develop amnesia about what they were brief on,” Harlow said in the interview.
Obama banned the use of enhanced interrogation techniques upon taking office and relatively few terrorists have been captured since 2009. Rather than capture and interrogate suspected terrorists, the Obama administration adopted an approach of using drones to kill suspected terrorists. Many in the intelligence community find irony in the fact that many more suspected terrorists have been killed via drone strike than were ever harmed through enhanced interrogation.
According to the report, many in the intelligence community think it would be useful to return to a policy of capturing and interrogating terrorists. As a result of the controversy surrounding the issue, however, few, if any, are willing to take on the risks associated with such an approach.
[h/t NBC News; image via screengrab]