Monday, 7 March 2016

Trump says the anti-torture law puts US in unfavorable conditions

Donald Trump during the final round of the World Golf Championships
Republican presidential elect Donald Trump says that, as president, he would push to amend laws that obstruct waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, arguing that banning them puts the U.S. at a strategic disadvantage against Islamic State militants.

This past week, in a series of interviews and events, Trump has articulated a loose, but expansive set of principles that, if enacted, would mark a fundamental shift in the way the U.S. fights violent extremism put in place by the Obama administration. In addition to arguing in favor of reinstating waterboarding, a technique that mimics the sensation of drowning, and “much more than that,” Trump has advocated the killing of militants’ wives and children, which appears in violation of international law.

“We have to play the game the way they’re playing the game,” Trump said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, one day after he told an audience in Florida that he would fight to expand and broaden the laws that regulate interrogation.

“I would like to strengthen the laws,” he added Sunday, “so that we can better compete.”

Trump’s utterances come as the U.S. continues its fight against IS militants across the Middle East. Trump has repeatedly pointed to the tactics used by the group, including public beheadings and drowning’s in locked cages, as evidence that the U.S. needs to dramatically escalate the tactics it uses.

During a press conference Saturday in West Palm Beach, Florida to mark his election wins, Trump refused, however, to articulate specifically which techniques he would like to see added, despite repeated questions. Instead, he said: “It’s very hard to be successful in beating someone when your rules are very soft and their rules are unlimited, they have unlimited, they can do whatever they want to do.”

Pressed Sunday on why he believed waterboarding had been banned, Trump said the U.S. was being “weak” by not employing the militants’ tactics.

“Because I think we’re a weak —I think we’ve become very weak and ineffective. I think that’s why we’re not beating ISIS. It’s that mentality,” he said using an acronym for the militant group.

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