US backs off bid to reopen overseas 'black site' prisons

By REUTERS
February 5, 2017 00:59

 
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WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has for now backed off a draft executive order that would have called for a review of whether the United States should reopen overseas "black site" prisons, where interrogation techniques often condemned as torture were used, US officials have told Reuters.

The New York Times, citing unidentified officials, on Saturday said the White House was circulating a revised version that did not have language that contemplated reopening the prisons. It said the revised draft did, however, contain parts of the earlier draft, including expanding the use of the military's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center.

A senior administration official confirmed the initial draft was no longer under consideration. "It was a transition draft never under serious consideration by the administration," the official said. "We have abandoned that transition draft."

The now-defunct CIA program used so-called enhanced interrogation practices, including simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, that were criticized around the world and denounced by former President Barack Obama and other senior US officials as torture.

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