"Torturing somebody would not be a legal order."
Guantanamo Commander questions Trump's campaign rhetoric,
says he would not obey an illegal order
>>> On November 14, 2016, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Commanding Officer Peter J. Clarke addressed and took questions from "all hands" (military personnel and Defense Department civilian employees) at the island base/prison. The next day, the Pentagon posted the above video. Less than 48 hours later, it had been pulled down.
Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg pointed out that the video was MIA. I tracked it down to Google's cache and asked rogue archivist Jason Scott to extract it. He posted it to the Internet Archive, and I've embedded it above.
Why did the video get yanked, you ask? Clarke talked quite a bit about what the election of Trump, which had happened a week before, might mean for Gitmo. He implies that Trump's campaign promises (probably the pledge to bring back waterboarding and other torture, as well as the promise to "load up" Gitmo with more detainees, including Americans) might've been hot air, and he says that, if they do come to pass, he will disobey orders to torture detainees.
Around the 7-minute mark:
"I don't know what the future of detention operations at Guantanamo Bay will be after January 20. Okay? None of us know, and frankly I don't care. All right? Neither should you. The media, just like everything else
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associated with Guantanamo Bay detention operations, is going to try to sensationalize it for the next month or two and make a big deal out of it.
We know what President-elect Trump said in the campaign trail. People say lots of stuff on the campaign trail. We'll see what really comes about.
But today, our Commander-in-Chief's priorities are to shut down detention operations here. Whether he manages to accomplish that or not, we will see in the next two months, but up until then we will carry out the orders of the President of the United States, and any process that happens to transfer detainees from here, we will carry it out as seamlessly and as professionally as we ever have before, and if there are detainees left on January 20th, we will continue to carry out our mission of safe and humane care and custody of detainees in a legal and transparent manner, just like we are doing it today. That is not going to change. That is based on our core values as a nation. Okay? So you shouldn't worry about all that noise that's gonna come, that's already coming, and it's gonna continue to come for the next few months."
Later in the video (around 19:30), in response to a question, he reiterates this point:
"Nothing's gonna change, all right? Y'know, campaign statements are what they are. Hopefully the good ones are followed through on, and the bad ones that were just made to generate attention and incite controversy and allow the media to sensationalize things so they can sell newspapers, hopefully those will go by the wayside.
But I'll tell you. [Pause.] I'll go back to the Constitution because it's not just about the President. And at this point I have to have faith that President-elect Trump is a reasonable person that's gonna do the right thing. But it's more than just the President. The Constitution built this incredible form of government with three branches of our government, and all three branches have a say in how we carry out our responsibilities....
I don't expect there's going to be any change. I expect some of that rhetoric will hopefully just kind of trickle away, and there will be other things that capture the media's attention.
But no, I, I, y'know, I don't think there is any chance - I think there is zero chance - that I'm going to get an order, that I'm going to have to say that it's not a legal order and I'm not gonna follow it, which is ultimately what would happen. Okay? Because somewhere else buried in the Constitution is that right, that responsibility, for us as leaders, for us in uniform, to carry out legal orders. And torturing somebody would not be a legal order."
The original page was here. A screenshot: