Of the torture devices President Trump has been interested in bringing back, waterboarding has been at the top of the list as he has been persistent about using the technique since he ran for president.
Another supporter of torture devices like waterboarding is apparently Gina Haspel, who President Trump appointed as the new deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. A report published by Reuters on her promotion said that she was a service officer who ran one of the controversial black site prisons set up during the Bush administration after the attacks on 9/11.
According to congressional officials mentioned in the report who wished to remain anonymous, Haspel ran a black site prison in Thailand and was involved in destroying waterboarding video evidence, which, rather than being referred to as one of the devices used in torture, has been relabeled as an “enhanced interrogation technique.”
The report says that intelligence professionals applauded her promotion, but given the determination that President Trump has for bringing waterboarding back as one of the more “popular” torture devices, the report appropriately say that her new role at the CIA would be controversial.
During his first week as President, he was asked by David Muir from ABC News about bringing back waterboarding as one of the torture devices. While he specifically referred to waterboarding, the question applied to torture overall as on the campaign trail, he has promised to bring back “a hell of a lot worse.”
He stood by his view during the interview but acknowledged that he was told by one of his top generals that torture wouldn’t work.
That general was verified to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. Given the many false statements that President Trump has made, it’s been widely reported and considered confirmed that this was the impression Gen. Mattis left on President Trump over using torture devices.
However, like most of Trump’s views, it is still not clear as to whether President Trump would push to bring back a torture program. That chance still exists, despite the fact that he has said he would leave that decision to his generals as he said during the ABC News interview.
But in a segment on The Young Turks (TYT) network – a largely opinionated commentary service, via YouTube – they questioned his assurance that he would leave the decision to his generals, suggesting that the President is preparing to “throw his generals under the bus,” should there be any opposition to an active torture program.
Because TYT is a largely opinionated service and would not constitute as an unbiased source to cite, it presents the consensus view that bringing back waterboarding devices and black sites are controversial because they are actually considered illegal. Even reputable Republicans have said this including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ.), who he himself was reportedly captured in Hanoi in 1968 during the Vietnam War and tortured.
Ironically enough, during his campaign, the Inquisitr reported when the President said that he didn’t consider John McCain a hero because he had been captured.
It was reported that during a GOP 3-day retreat in Philadelphia on the end of his first week as president, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and McCain said that they did not support the administration’s call to bring back those devices and confirmed that it was illegal.
Should they be pushed to reverse such laws, they have said that even though they have the ability, they would not change the illegal status. British Prime Minister Theresa May who visited Trump at the end of his first week even said beforehand that, they might stop sharing intelligence with the CIA if the administration allows the return of those controversial devices.
During the last week of January and in the middle of Trump’s bulk signing of executive orders, The New York Times reported on a draft for an upcoming executive order that would attempt to re-open black sites where detainees were initially tortured.
Black sites like these provided the U.S. government cover from prosecution as they are outside of legal jurisdiction, but are largely criticized by human rights organizations and the United Nations.
Trump says torture "works," but he’ll defer on decision over tactics to his defense secretary https://t.co/xJghLxfbl8
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 27, 2017
Since that report, the New York Times also reported that all references to “black sites” have been removed in a new draft circulating the administration.
But this goes back to the statement The Washington Post originally covered from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in November 2015, while on the campaign trail in Columbus, Ohio. If people have learned anything from this President it is that he has been consistent with keeping his promises no matter how controversial they are.
In the article, it shows that laws or even generals might not be able to stop him from bringing back waterboarding or any other devices.
“It works, believe me, it works. And you know what? If It doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing. It works.”
Recent reports have recycled certain parts of this statement but in its entirely, he seems to be referring to the terrorists he is targeting. But with his executive order to ban Muslims – who are coming from “dangerous” countries — from entering the United States, there is no doubt that one would simply have to trust the administration to know if those they detain are terrorists in the first place. One action follows the other, and with the President hardly being restrained to bring back torture devices like waterboarding, anyone who falls under whoever the President’s broad definition of a terrorist would be a target of such a program.
One action follows the other, and with the President hardly being restrained to bring back torture devices like waterboarding, anyone who falls under whoever fits the President’s broad definition of what a terrorist is would be a target of such a program.
[Featured Image by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]