Spy chief: Waterboarding against American values

Spy chief: Waterboarding against American values
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The nation’s spy chief took a swipe Tuesday at presidential candidates who in recent days have suggested the United States should start waterboarding terror suspects again.


“The Army Field Manual is the standard, and that is what we should abide by and serves the purposes of both providing the framework for solicitation of valuable intelligence and comports with American values,” Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperA brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats New study suggests Trump's 2016 poll numbers rose after increased Russian troll farm tweets Trump raises 2020 stakes by elevating North Korea, China on agenda MORE told the Senate Armed Service Committee.

Clapper was responding to a question from committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMichelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Meghan McCain shares story of miscarriage Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (R-Ariz.), who in recent days has been pushing back on comments made on the presidential campaign trail in regards to torture.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE said during Saturday's Republican debate that he would he reinstate waterboarding as well as "bring back a hell of a lot worse." Despite a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Trump leads in both national and New Hampshire polls.

He later called rival Ted Cruz, the winner in Iowa, a "pussy" because Cruz didn't say he'd support waterboarding during the debate.

Cruz said during the debate that while he doesn't support reinstating the interrogation technique "in any sort of widespread use," he also doesn't consider it to be torture.

McCain, who was tortured while held in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, successfully championed a provision in this year’s defense policy bill that banned brutal interrogation techniques widely criticized as torture. The bill did so by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual.

McCain continued to press the issue Tuesday, and Clapper agreed with his position.

“Isn’t it the fact that American values are such that no matter what the enemy does that we maintain a higher standard of behavior, and when we violate that, such as we did with Abu Ghraib, the consequences are severe?” he asked Clapper.

“Yes, sir,” Clapper responded.