“Do not forget”: A few terrible facts about torture
A few important facts that Americans must keep in mind as we head to the voting booth in 2016:
The Republican candidate has said publicly, “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” adding, in other appearances, “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work—torture works,” and “If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing to us.” (Links to sources provided below.) Regardless of what one thinks of this candidate, one should never forget that the candidate has strongly advocated torture.
The US is a party to at least four ratified international agreements against torture. Ordering the use of torture can be construed, in armed conflict situations, as a war crime.
Advocating torture is universally considered immoral. If elected, it means the candidate could also be ordering the women and men in national service to commit war crimes.
And it is clearly established that it doesn’t “work” as a way to get reliable and actionable intelligence. The US Senate concluded an in-depth study on “enhanced interrogation techniques” — a deplorable and Orwellian way to say “torture” — less than two years ago (Dec 2014). The results were published and are easily available, and they are summarized here:
These facts should not be drowned out during the rest of this campaign season’s deeply unfortunate noise.