Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was interviewed on CBS’s Face The Nation that aired Sunday morning and the billionaire candidate spoke about how he wants to “strengthen” waterboarding laws and make them stronger.
Trump didn’t flip flop overnight through his support of strengthening the waterboarding ban that the Bush administration adopted in 2006 and President Obama expanded to include other forms of torture in January 2009 when he became U.S. president.
Instead of viewing the current laws prohibiting water boarding as a reflection of basic universal human rights and a sign of support for Geneva Conventions, Donald Trump understands the battle against ISIS in the Middle East as a competition and supports a “strengthening” process that basically throws out and weakens the waterboarding ban to have the law “expanded” to something stronger.
“I would like to strengthen the laws so that we can better compete. It’s very tough to beat enemies that don’t have any — that don’t have any restrictions, all right? We have these massive restrictions” Trump said.
“Now, I will always abide by the law, but I would like to have the law expanded. I would like to make…” Trump continued.
When asked by CBS Face The Nation host John Dickerson how he would like to have the laws expanded, Trump replied, “I happen to think that we should use something that is stronger than we have right now. Right now, basically water-boarding is essentially not allowed, as I understand it.”
Trump appears to be talking out of both sides of his mouth on the topic of waterboarding.
He is not really asking for a “stronger” ban on the water torture practice.
Trump is instead advocating to weaken the existing waterboarding laws and “have the law expanded” to allow U.S. interrogators to use something “stronger.”
Trump didn’t exactly specify what type of torture practice qualifies as stronger torture but it’s safe to conclude that it will violate Geneva Conventions even more so than waterboarding.
Waterboarding, also called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” is a form of water torture that violates Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued in December 2014 a declassified 500 page summary of its still classified 6,700 page report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
The summary concluded that enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT) or waterboarding was ineffective for acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.