The wrath of Donald Trump is never-ending on his journey to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
On Sunday, the business mogul turned Presidential candidate acknowledged his desire to “strengthen” existing laws to permit the use of torture on detainees if he were elected president.
The issue was initially brought up during Thursday night’s GOP debate and was again reiterated by Trump earlier Sunday morning in an interview with Face the Nation host John Dickerson.
“We have an enemy [ISIS] that doesn’t play by the laws. You could say laws, and they’re laughing. They’re laughing at us right now. I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete.”
Trump is going off the premise of ISIS “not playing by the rules” when it comes to the laws in place for detainees, and mentioned waterboarding specifically as a minimal tool that should be used against captured enemies.
“I happen to think that when you’re fighting an enemy that chops off heads, I happen to think that we should use something that’s stronger than we have right now. Right now, basically, waterboarding is essentially not allowed, as I understand it… I would certainly like it to be, at a minimum, at a minimum to allow that.”
The GOP front-runner went on to claim that our country’s lack of strong laws presents us as a weak country in the eyes of terrorists who are playing by a separate– and extreme– set of rules. Trump also discounted the argument that if we begin to torture captured enemies, our soldiers would then suffer the consequences by stating the fact that terrorists are already killing our soldiers despite the laws in place.
Trump has gone on to propose measure’s “much more severe” than waterboarding in his fight against ISIS, including the targeting and killing of terrorist families. And despite Trump’s claims, former head of the National Security Agency and C.I.A., Michael Hayden, had said that members of the military would not obey such orders to torture prisoners or kill the families of terrorists.
Waterboarding has long been a subject of controversy. Its use is considered inhumane, and one that many feel should be banned due to its cruel manner which can damage the lungs, cause brain damage from oxygen deprivation, and even physical injuries and death, but the tactic has also been seen as a enhanced interrogation technique that is effective against detainees.
After confirmed use of the torture technique in 2002 and 2003 against three Al-Qaeda suspects, the Bush administration banned torture, including waterboarding, on detainees in 2006, which was followed up by a similar ban in January of 2009 by President Obama.
Trump hasn’t been the only individual in the GOP to confess his desire to bring back torturing techniques such as waterboarding on detainees. Recent GOP candidates, such as Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum, endorsed it use, while Jeb Bush and Ben Carson did not rule out its use.
All four individuals have since dropped out of the race, leaving Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich as the last four standing in the race for the GOP nomination.
Trump’s Sunday Face the Nation interview also touched on the rumor of republicans who are vowing to leave the party should he win the GOP nomination. He responded by labeling himself a “unifier” and claiming that “he thinks everybody should be unified.” A long cry from an individual who verbally attacks his fellow party members and critics in nearly every other sentence he speaks.
Trump is coming off a Saturday night win in the Kentucky and Louisiana Republican caucuses and is the front runner with a total of 382 delegates followed by Cruz (300), Rubio (128) and Kasich (35). A total of 1,237 delegates are needed for the nomination with 1,612 still available.
[Photo by AP Photo/Brynn Anderson]