He Endorsed Torture – Again

(Credit: Twitter screengrab, @hrw)

Sen. John McCain is a man who knows a thing or two about torture.

Because he experienced it firsthand for 5 1/2 years as a POW during the Vietnam War.

Along with the Senate Intelligence Committee, he’s been vehement that torture does not work and should not be practiced by the United States even if the President deems otherwise. Actually, you should read McCain’s quote for yourself. It’s much more eloquent.

“I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard,” McCain told an audience at the annual Halifax International Security Forum. “We will not torture people … It doesn’t work.”

But what does Sen. McCain know about anything? Like I said, he was a POW and as we all know, that makes him a loser. At least in the eyes of Donald Trump who declared today, “Do I feel [torture] works? Absolutely, I feel it works.”

Again, virtually no one else in either congressional, military, or intelligence leadership agrees with Trump on the effectiveness of waterboarding. But as we all know well, Donald Trump has never let the facts get in the way of his own version of reality.

But this alternative fact isn’t very funny.

Why?

Because waterboarding is an effective recruitment tool for anti-American terrorist organizations.

Don’t believe torture is an effective piece of anti-American propaganda? Just ask George W. Bush. Yes, that George W. Bush, the one who gave the go-ahead for waterboarding in the first place and helped fill up the cells at torture-friendly Guantanamo Bay: “[T]he detention facility had become a propaganda tool for our enemies and a distraction for our allies.”

But what does George W. Bush know? He wasn’t actually there for any of the waterboarding. Let’s ask the interrogators themselves and see what they think of waterboarding. Surely, if anyone can speak to its effectiveness it’s them.

“It tends to produce unreliable information because it degrades a detainee’s ability to recall and transmit information, undermines trust in the interrogator, and often prompts a detainee to relay false information that he believes the interrogator wants to hear,” wrote the interrogators. “It also increases the risk that our troops will be tortured, hinders cooperation with allies, alienates populations whose support the United States needs in the struggle against terrorism, and provides a propaganda tool for extremists who wish to do us harm.”

To put it another way, Donald Trump doesn’t really care about American safety or the safety of our troops.

He cares about looking like a tough guy and pandering to his shrinking, yet relentlessly ignorant base of supporters.

Because who cares if Donald Trump puts America at risk as long as he can sell a few more of those damn red hats of his?