Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against President Trump’s nominee for a senior Transportation Department position on Monday, the day Paul returned to the Senate after being allegedly assaulted by his neighbor.
Steven Bradbury, Trump’s pick for general counsel at the Transportation Department, faced backlash in 2005 for his authoring of “torture memos” that argued the legal justifications for “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“I voted against Steven Bradbury’s nomination because you shouldn’t get to author memos on torturing people & then get another government job,” Paul tweeted.
During George W. Bush’s presidency, Bradbury wrote three memos in 2005 authorizing the use of 13 different techniques to use against “high value detainees.” The techniques included “dietary manipulation, facial slap or insult slap, cramped confinement, water dousing and waterboarding.”
Bradbury defended his writings, arguing the “questions we addressed raised difficult issues about which reasonable people could disagree.”
“In the years following 9/11, we let fear get the better of our responsibility to liberty,” Paul wrote. “Of the 119 people detained by the CIA, 39 were tortured. In our haste, at least 26 people were wrongfully detained, not even meeting the government’s own standard for detention.”
“Despite this evidence, many in Congress have continued to maintain that waterboarding is not torture,” Paul added.
Despite Paul’s protests, Mike Pompeo was appointed head of the CIA.
Steven Bradbury was confirmed in a 50-47 vote.