Retired generals warn Trump not to bring back torture for terrorism suspects

Retired generals warn Trump not to bring back torture for terrorism suspects

A group of retired military officers is telling President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE not to bring back torture for terrorism suspects, The New York Times reported.

The Times reported that 176 retired officers, including 33 four-star generals and admirals, sent a letter to Trump him against bringing back waterboarding and other torture methods.

In the letter, the officers cited their "six thousand years of combined experience." They said waterboarding and "other enhanced interrogation techniques" are illegal, adding that the torture is both "unnecessary" and "counterproductive."

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The officers noted it "violates our core values as a nation."

"Out greatest strength is our commitment to the rule of law and to the principles embedded in our Constitution," the letter said.

"Our servicemen and women need to know that our leaders do not condone torture or detainee abuse of any kind."

During the presidential campaign, the president-elect expressed support for authorizing any means necessary for interrogating terror suspects, including the use of waterboarding. Last year, he said "waterboarding would be fine."

Last year, Trump indicated after a meeting with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis he may have taken a new stance on the issue.

"General Mattis is a strong, highly dignified man. I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, 'What do you think of waterboarding?'" Trump told the Times.
 
"He said — I was surprised — he said, 'I've never found it to be useful.' He said, 'I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.'"