As the conservative right wing loses its collective mind over the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, they’ve been descending alarmingly deep into a rabbit-hole of bigotry and fear, seeing threats in the faces of refugee children. Leading the charge is Donald Trump, who casually announced today that he would bring back the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the George W. Bush Administration to find “terrorists” that could be hiding among refugees- known to the rest of us as brutal torture.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Trump stated that:
When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don’t’ know if they’re ISIS, we don’t know if they’re a Trojan Horse, I want to see a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watch lists, we want to go with databases, and we have no choice. It could be the great Trojan Horse of all time. When I look at the [immigration] line, I see all strong powerful men. And I see very few women, and I see very few children. There’s something strange going on. And if you look at what’s happening in Europe, a lot of bad things are happening in Europe. We have to be strong. You know, they don’t use waterboarding over there, they use chopping off people’s heads, they use drowning people. I would bring it back, I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us. I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”
The CIA’s secret torture program was one of the most despicable crimes against humanity our nation has ever committed. The program led to the death of Gul Rahman and subjected another hundred and eighteen men, of whom at least twenty-six did not meet the CIA’s standards for detention but were held anyway, to absolutely barbaric torture methods which included waterboarding, severe beatings, starvation, extreme temperature conditions, sleep deprivation, and other horrific punishments. It made our nation a moral hypocrite of the worst kind – and Trump wants to bring that back.
The level of fearmongering on the part of the American right-wing is just absurd, and to casually suggest that our intelligence services are so inept that we need to waterboard innocents to protect our nation is just atrocious. Never mind the fact that the CIA’s own report found that “the use of inhumane physical or psychological techniques are counterproductive because they do not produce intelligence and will probably result in false answers.” Trump is making abhorrent statements on a daily basis; he an all his ilk are an absolute disgrace to this nation. We do not need to stoop to the level of ISIS to stop them.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.