February 9, 2016
At Saturday’s debate in New Hampshire, Donald Trump declared, “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” On Sunday, he doubled down in an interview with George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: As president, you would authorize torture?
TRUMP: I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective. If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do we win by being more like them?
TRUMP: Yes. I’m sorry. You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads. That’s what we have …
STEPHANOPOULOS: So we’re going to chop off heads …
TRUMP: We’re going to do things beyond waterboarding perhaps, if that happens to come.
As the person who literally wrote the book in defense of waterboarding, this is crazy.
Trump is right that we need the ability to effectively interrogate terrorists so we can get information to stop terrorist attacks. And the Obama administration has not simply banned waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. It has virtually stopped interrogating terrorists at all. In almost every case where the Obama administration has located senior al-Qaeda leaders since taking office, the president has chosen targeted killings over live captures. The problem with this approach is that with every drone strike that vaporizes a senior al Qaeda leader, actionable intelligence is vaporized along with him.
Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: Trump is dead wrong that we need to go ‘beyond waterboarding’