Donald Trump comes out as pro-torture

Yesterday, I wrote that Donald Trump’s endorsement of waterboarding was more worrisome than past Republicans’ endorsement of the policy because he didn’t rely on semantics to make his point. While Republican politicians usually justify the practice by insisting that it isn’t torture, Trump merely said that it was fine because it’s “peanuts compared to what [the Islamic State would] do to us.” In other words, the acceptability of interrogation techniques, regardless of the semantics surrounding whether they could be classified as “torture,” is relative: If we think our enemies could or would do it, then it’s fine.

Donald Trump, screenshot via YouTube

Donald Trump, screenshot via YouTube

I wrote that one of the reporters on the Donald Trump beat should follow up with the creeping fascist to ask whether his justification for waterboarding meant that he would support other forms of torture. As it turns out, they didn’t even need to ask. Last night, Donald Trump went a step beyond endorsing waterboarding, saying that he’d “approve more than that” as president.

Said Trump, to a crowd of supporters at a rally, “Don’t kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work.” I guess scientists and interrogation experts are pretty stupid, then.

Not that it matters. As he continued, “Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing. It works.”

As the Washington Post reported:

Trump said such techniques are needed to confront terrorists who “chop off our young people’s heads” and “build these iron cages, and they’ll put 20 people in them and they drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull them up 15 minutes later.”

To be clear, beheading and drowning prisoners doesn’t make them talk. It does the opposite of that. But at this point I think Donald Trump owes us a follow-up on whether, as president, he’d endorse beheading and drowning prisoners who don’t provide us with actionable intelligence. There seems to be a reasonable chance that he would say yes (excuse me, “wouldn’t rule it out”).

To recap, Donald Trump doesn’t care whether waterboarding is officially classified as torture because he’d be more than willing to approve torture techniques as president. And he’d do so not because of some “ticking time bomb” scenario, or because the intel we’d gather from such techniques would be legitimate, but as a means of proportionate revenge. In other words, Trump is pro-torture simply for the sake of satisfaction.

And his supporters are loving it, endorsing out-and-out sadism as foreign policy.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

Share This Post

© 2018 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS