If Mr. Trump signs the draft order, he would also revoke Mr. Obama’s directive to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all wartime detainees in American custody – another step toward reopening secret prisons outside of the normal wartime rules established by the Geneva Conventions.
And while Mr. Obama tried to close the Guantánamo prison and refused to bring new detainees there, the draft order directs the Pentagon to continue using the facility “for the detention and trial of newly captured” detainees – including not just more suspected members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, like the 41 remaining detainees, but also Islamic State detainees. It does not address legal problems that might raise.
The draft order does not direct any immediate reopening of C.I.A. prisons or revival of torture tactics, which are now barred by statute. But it sets up high-level policy reviews to make further recommendations in both areas to Mr. Trump, who vowed during the campaign to bring back waterboarding and a “hell of a lot worse” – not only because “torture works,” but because even “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.”