03:15 GMT07 March 2021
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    Sputnik discussed with former CIA analyst and whistleblower John Kiriakou the recent statement of CIA director John Brennan that the CIA might comply with an order to commit torture.

    “We have the federal torture act which has been law for well over half a century, for 70 years. We were the primary drafters of the United Nations convention against torture so torture is illegal in the United States.”

    He further said that the supporters of torture can call it whatever they like. They can call it “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and argue that water boarding is not torture, but it is, “we know it is. And it’s against the law.”

    “So for John Brennan to opine that there is wiggle room is just wrong. He should have stuck with his original statement saying that torture was wrong, it was illegal and no CIA officer would engage in torture even if the president ordered him to do so, he should have stuck with that,” Kiriakou said.

    He further said that John Brennan should have taken a stand which he didn’t. He should have set the national tone and he didn’t.

    “We need somebody in the position of the authority to stand up and apparently that’s not John Brennan.”

    Talking about the US policy makers, the former CIA analyst said that Hillary Clinton’s position on torture is alarming.

    “We should be very careful on Hilary Clinton’s position on torture because she is a well-known neo-liberal. Hillary has never seen a war that she hasn’t loved and this nonsense about ticking time bomb and imminent threat to the US that only happens in the movies, that’s not real life. So to hold that out as a reason or a trigger that would allow the US to engage in torture again, to me is really just a red herring,” Kiriakou said.

    He said that the US government has this knee jerk reaction of classifying everything so that it can’t be discussed so if a whistle blower reveals the information the whistle blower is prosecuted.

    He further said that this has happened throughout modern American history.

    “We need to adhere to the notion that there is a greater good here and that the American people have the right to know what their government is doing in their behalf. We need to have a continuing national dialogue about torture.”

    “We aren’t talking about torture anymore and when people like Donald Trump do talk about torture the conversation is very one sided: that Donald Trump wants to torture, he wants to bring back water boarding and in his words ‘things that are a lot worse than water boarding and that the American people are just supposed to accept that,” the analyst said.

    According to Kiriakou such rhetoric harms the US overseas. “It really allows our enemies to unify and it allows them to use his ill-advised statements as a recruiting tool,” he concluded.

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    Tags:
    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), foreign policy, threat, torture, interview, John Brennan, Hillary Clinton, US
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