Earth & Conservation

CIA Director Says Agency Will Never Use Waterboarding Again

Director John Brennan said the CIA would reject any such request from future presidents.

<p>Photo: Pete Souza // The White House</p>

CIA Director John Brennan has vowed that the intelligence agency will not use "enhanced interrogation" techniques in the future, including waterboarding. In an interview with NBC News, Brennan emphasized that this policy would stay, even if a future president requested that the CIA use waterboarding or other harsh tactics.

His comments come in an election season when some candidates say they would reinstitute waterboarding for interrogation. Donald Trump has expressed his support not only for waterboarding, but for other techniques that are "so much worse" and "much stronger," according to The Washington Post.

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Ted Cruz has taken a slightly different stance. At a debate earlier this year, Cruz emphasized that waterboarding does not meet the definition of torture.

"Well, under the definition of torture, no it's not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems," he said.

While Cruz has taken a firm stance against other methods of intense interrogation, he believes there should be some waterboarding permitted, just not on a "widespread" use.

On the Democratic side, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have spoken out against such techniques. After the terrorist attacks in Brussels earlier this year, Clinton said there was no evidence supporting the claim that waterboarding is an effective tactic. Sanders holds a similar view, saying "enhanced techniques" go against American values and hurt the country's moral standing.

In January 2009, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that banned waterboarding along with other counterterrorism policies followed under President George W. Bush.

Top photo: John Brennan meets with President Obama in the Oval Office, January 2010.