Trump's Latest Comments on Torture Are Disgraceful

November 24th 2015

Just days after telling ABC News that he would "absolutely" reinstate waterboarding as an interrogation technique, Donald Trump doubled down on Monday night in front of a crowd in Ohio—in his signature assertive style.

"Would I approve waterboarding?" Trump asked a cheering crowd. "You bet your ass I'd approve it. You bet your ass. In a heartbeat."

The controversial, so-called "enhanced interrogation" method known as waterboarding, which simulates drowning, has been widely criticized for being more a method of torture than one of questioning. It was also included in a suite of similar techniques found to be largely ineffective by a U.S. Senate report on the C.I.A.'s interrogation practices, which was released last year. Used by the Bush administration in the early 2000s against terror suspects thought to be connected with the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the practice was later outlawed in 2006.

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But in Ohio, Trump didn't seem to take issue with the method's ineffectiveness, adding that "...if it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us," referring to militants from the so-called Islamic State. The candidate took an eye-for-an-eye approach, noting that extremists "chop off our young peoples' heads, and they put them on a stick. On the other side, they build these iron cages and they'll put 20 people in them and drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull em up 15 minutes later."

Public figures have decried the practice, and journalists, including Kaj Larsen and Christopher Hitchens, have willingly subjected themselves to waterboarding sessions in order to provide public accounts of the technique.

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The announcement is the latest in Trump's aggressive stance on global terrorism. Addressing the extremist group earlier this month in Iowa, the businessman said he "would bomb the shit out of them."

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