A top military adviser to Donald Trump expressed qualified support for Trump’s proposal to kill terrorists’ families, telling Al Jazeera that it would depend on the “circumstances of the situation.”
The statement from Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, reignited a debate about whether the military in a Trump presidency could be counted on to refuse blatantly illegal orders.
CIA directors past and present have asserted that Trump’s proposal to bring back torture methods “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” was meaningless, because CIA officers would refuse to carry out such orders.
Trump insisted during a Republican debate in March that “they won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.”
Flynn, who was appointed by President Obama, is one of the few credentialed military officials in Trump’s inner circle. But when Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan asked Flynn directly “Would you kill the family of a terror suspect, yes or no?” Flynn replied that he would have to “see what the circumstances of that situation was.”