Christiane Amanpour’s interview with David Petraeus airs Thursday at 2pm ET, 8pm CET.
David Petraeus, former CIA director and US CENTCOM commander, told CNN he believes Donald Trump no longer wants to reintroduce torture.
He was asked by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “Do you think Donald Trump has given up the notion that torture will be reintroduced under his administration?”
“Yes,” he told her in an interview recorded Tuesday evening. Petraeus was among those under consideration for Donald Trump’s secretary of state, before Rex Tillerson was eventually nominated, and has met privately with the President-elect.
“And for what it is worth, I have publicly, as you know, for a number of years stated that enhanced interrogation techniques – whatever you want to call this – (A) doesn’t work – it certainly doesn’t work sufficiently to justify the enormous penalties that you will end up incurring as a result of doing that,” Petraeus added.
Throughout the presidential campaign Trump pushed for the use of torture and enhanced interrogation techniques as a way to combat ISIS, though after winning in November, the President-elect has said that James Mattis, his choice to be the next secretary of defense, “surprised” him when he said he had not found waterboarding useful.
He also said those who use torture must “recognize that the price of doing it is going to far outweigh the value that you get from individuals.”
“No commander has been responsible for more detainees than I was, at the height of Iraq, and the height of Afghanistan, indeed in Central Command in between,” Petraeus said.
Petraeus commanded, by turns, all coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Our experience is that if you want something from a detainee, and you want the truth in general, you want to get valid information to try to piece together various puzzles, you try to become the detainee’s best friend,” he said.