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Ex-CIA Officer Says Trump Will Likely Back Down on Waterboarding Restoration

© REUTERS / Jonathan ErnstRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Grand Junction, Colorado, US October 18, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Grand Junction, Colorado, US October 18, 2016. - Sputnik International
President-elect Donald Trump is likely to back down on his campaign comments favoring the restoration of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques, former CIA intelligence officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., October 28, 2016 - Sputnik International
Watchdog: Trump Must Dump Pledge to Restore Torture as It Violates Human Rights
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — According to Giraldi, intelligence will advise Trump to abandon his campaign pledges to bring back some of the torture techiques.

"Trump will be advised to back off on the issue and, if he has any sense, he will do so," Giraldi said on Friday.

Giraldi explained intelligence veterans knew that apart from arousing widespread public outrage, torture usually yielded very misleading information as its victims were desperate to say anything they thought their interrogators wanted to hear.

"Torture is a lose-lose issue for everyone involved whether or not is does work in practice," Giraldi, who also served as US Army intelligence officer, noted.

Michel Doucet, executive director of the Security Intelligence Review Committee stated last week that Ottawa may have to rethink how it provides intelligence to the United States, given President-elect Donald Trump's views on torture, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported on Friday.

However, Giraldi expressed skepticism that Ottawa would scrap its longstanding alliance with the United States as it received far more intelligence from Washington than it provided.

"I don't believe there will be any repercussions. In reality the United States and the United Kingdom provide most of the top-level intelligence to the other three of the Five Eyes so Canada would definitely be the loser if it opts out," he said.

Canada is a member of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

However, Giraldi warned that Trump would risk setting off reassessments and possible strains in all of the United States’ ties with allied intelligence agencies if he pushed ahead and insisted on reactivating "enhanced interrogation" procedures.

"I do believe, however, if the new administration openly embraces torture there will be serious readjustments in all of Washington's liaison relationships," he explained.

Philip Giraldi is executive director of the Council for the National Interest, a group that advocates more even-handed US government policies in the Middle East.

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