The Young Turks Condemn Trump’s Endorsement of Torture

In this piece from The Young Turks, John Iadarola gives his Final Judgment on Donald Trump’s endorsement of torture. Trump has said that he’s in favour of using torture, even if it doesn’t work. When questioned on this by the media, he appeared to back pedal, stating that he would stay within the law. It’s another high ambiguous statement The Donald uses to cloak his real intentions. It looks like a retraction, but it isn’t. Trump has said that he doesn’t regard waterboarding as torture, but ‘enhanced interrogation’. He has also said that he intends to change the law to allow more of these interrogation techniques.

Iadarola believes that the media has gone soft on him over this, and the public has been indifferent or even positive, because they don’t know what the reality of torture is like. They have been lulled into this through programmes like 24, where Jack Bauer must somehow use torture to get a terrorist to tell him the whereabouts of a time bomb somewhere. Except that torture doesn’t work. Victims of torture, like John McCain, have said that when you’re tortured, you only want to tell the torturer what you think they want to hear. As a form of interrogation, it’s useless.

But Trump’s endorsement of torture has led many Americans to follow him into agreeing with it. 52 per cent of Americans generally support torture, and this rises to 70 per cent of Republicans. The numbers also rise according to how the victim is described. If they’re just called a person, relatively few piece support it. If they’re described as a terrorist, however, the number who agree with torturing them rises.

Iadarola states that people believe torture is permissible because they have never seen the true reality, just as they have never seen the true horror of Trump’s other policy of carpet-bombing cities full of civilians. He also makes the point that it’s hard for Americans to claim the moral high ground and demand that other states not torture their troops, when they themselves are torturing America’s enemies.

And so he concludes that no-one should support torture, because there is no ticking time-bomb, and we don’t live in Jack Bauer’s world. And that’s his Final Judgment.

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