"Among the flurry of confirmation hearings happening this week in the Senate, one in particular will signal whether President-to-be Donald Trump and his administration are, indeed, serious about restoring the failed and discredited Bush-era torture policy.
Trump’s pick for CIA chief, the US representative Mike Pompeo, will face the Senate intelligence committee and no doubt will be asked about his past support for cruelty. If he fails to renounce torture at his hearing, the Senate should deem Pompeo unfit for the office and vote down his nomination.
I know what’s at stake from my own experience. I was the navy’s chief lawyer when, in 2002, I learned that detainees held at Guantánamo were being subjected to cruel and unlawful interrogation practices. This wasn’t a case of “bad apples” – it was a case of officials at the highest levels of government choosing to radically reinterpret, distort or violate the law so as to knowingly apply torture. That can’t happen again."