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United States Senate WASHINGTON, OC 20510 February 2, 2017 The Honorable James N. Mattis The Honorable Mike Pompeo Secretary of Defense Director of the CIA Dear Secretary Matis and Director Pompeo: We are deeply concerned by reports that the Administration is considering an Executive Order to review resuming CIA “black site” detention and prohibited interrogation activities (potentially including, among other practices, waterboarding), making changes to the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, as well as sending additional detainees to the detention facility at Guantanamo. Those reports, as well as comments by the President, have created alarm that this administration may be preparing a return to policies and practices that are ineffective, contrary to our national values, and damaging to our national security. The United States Constitution, numerous statutes, and international legal obligations have long provided the legal framework for the prevention of and prosecution for acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. To strengthen this prohibition, the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act prohibits interrogation techniques not authorized by the Army Field Manual, as well as any changes to the Field Manual involving the use or threat of force. The statute also requires that the International Committee of the Red Cross be provided notification of, and prompt access to, detainees held by the United States. Torture is immoral and deeply contrary to the principles of this nation. Beyond that, it is widely recognized as ineffective and even counter-productive, as it produces unreliable information. The use of torture and secret foreign prisons were a boon to terrorist groups, helping their propaganda and recruitment efforts. Moreover, these practices frayed our relations with key allies, some of whom have faced legal liability before their own or international courts. Similarly, these practices put our own forces and personnel at risk of legal liability and being subjected to harsh treatment when they are detained. Reckless talk of torture shows a stunning disregard for the men and women who serve this country and seek to uphold this country’s highest standards as well as the allies who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us. February 2, 2017 The Honorable James N. Mattis The Honorable Mike Pompeo Page 2 Lastly, both the Bush and Obama administrations worked to close the detention center at Guantanamo because they realized that both the moral and financial costs were not justified and that there were better and more humane alternatives. As President Obama stated in a recent letter to Congress on this issue, “history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to bring it to a responsible end.” We cannot go back to those practices if we want the United States of America to continue to serve as a beacon of justice, law and human rights for the world, We appreciate your firm commitments in the confirmation process to follow the law. We remain firmly opposed to changing the law or any policy that could bring back these abhorrent and ineffective practices. ‘Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Sincerely, DME hg , Zespains SZ: Glas Ae (ie Tee