During Donald Trump’s first Television appearance after being sworn in, the new President of the United States argued that torture “absolutely” works and that America should “fight fire with fire.”
In his interview with ABC News, Trump said that he would discuss with defense secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo and determine what can be done legally to stop terrorism from spreading.
When asked whether or not he believed torture methods like waterboarding are a solution, the new leader of the ‘free world’ answered: “absolutely I feel it works.”
ABC News tweeted:
“President Trump on waterboarding: ‘I feel it works,’ but will rely on team’s guidance and do everything ‘legally.’”
“When Isis is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times. Would I feel strongly about waterboarding. As far as I’m concerned we have to fight fire with fire,” added the President.
Furthermore, Trump shared that earlier this week he asked intelligence chiefs if torture works and “The answer was yes, absolutely,” he stated.
He then added that terrorist groups “chop off the citizens’ or anybody’s heads in the Middle East, because they’re Christian or Muslim or anything else … we have that and we’re not allowed to do anything. We’re not playing on an even field.”
The statements only reinforce the assumptions that Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that would reinstate the detention of terrorism suspects in facilities known as “black sites”.
This would eliminate the limitations on coercive interrogation techniques set to ensure humane military interrogations.
Of course, Trump is facing a lot of opposition to the reintroduction of torture.
Senator John McCain, who is also a torture survivor, said:
“The president can sign whatever executive orders he likes. But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America.”
Former CIA head Leon Panetta, who ordered the closing of many US black sites said that it would be “damaging” to America’s reputation and that torture is a violation of the US values and Constitution.
Even Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, has been urged to by her own MPs to make Britain’s opposition to torture clear to Trump when she visits him on Friday.
“President Trump has repeatedly said he will bring back torture as an instrument of policy. When she sees him on Friday, will the prime minister make it clear that in no circumstances will she permit Britain to be dragged into facilitating that torture, as we were after 11 September?”