The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

DNI Confirmation Hearing: Blair on Interrogation and Torture

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | January 22, 2009 | Thomas Dixon
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Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) wants to know if Blair agrees with harmonizing CIA interrogations with the Geneva-complaint Army Field Manual on interrogations. He does.

“The executive order which will be released here soon provides there will be a review of the Army Field Manual as a basis,” Blair said. “If it has my way, it won’t be called the Army Field Manual anymore, it will become the Government Field Manual on Interrogations.”

More on torture: “The president said it so elegantly in his inauguration. We reject the false choice between our safety and our ideals.” Levin makes the point that torture threatens U.S. national security, both through blowback and through “cost[ing] us allies in common causes” and “depriving us of the ability to prosecute an alleged terrorist.” Does Blair agree that torture can harm our security? He wants to look into it in his review, “but the dangers that you cite … I’m sure, have validity to them.” He’ll tell the committee what his review determines.

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