Obama Will Ban Torture— But Considers a Loophole

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2009 12:38 PM CST
Obama Will Ban Torture— But Considers a Loophole
Protesters to the war in Iraq perform a demonstration of waterboarding torture techniques.   (AP Photo)

Barack Obama is set to prohibit waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques by mandating the CIA follow the US Army Field Manual when questioning suspects, the AP reports. But as the president-elect debates whether to make the changes through legislation or presidential fiat, the incoming administration is also considering a loophole that would allow controversial methods in pressing situations.

Congressional Democrats are unlikely to support the loophole, which might be in the form of a classified annex to the field manual. Many in the intelligence community think adherence to the Army regulations will hamstring their ability to combat terror. “To assume automatically that the Army Field Manual would suit the needs of the republic in all circumstances is a shot in the dark,” said outgoing CIA director Michael Hayden. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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