Running to be torturer-in-chief

trump greatI was traveling last weekend, and as I was packing my bags to return home to Michigan Sunday morning I turned on the TV and caught Donald Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

I consider myself pretty hardened, but even I was taken aback when Trump not only doubled down on his Saturday night debate pledge to bring back waterboarding, but vowed to become America’s new torturer-in-chief should we be foolish enough to elect him president.

You can read the transcript below, or, if you can stomach it, watch the clip for yourself. If you’re like me you’ll want to take a hot shower afterwards to wash off the stench.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The issue of waterboarding front and center last night as (INAUDIBLE). You said, I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

What did you have in mind?

TRUMP: Well, George, you’re not talking about what I said before that. I said we’re living in a world where, in the Middle East, they’re cutting people’s heads off. They’re chopping a Christian’s head off. And many of them, we talk about Foley, James Foley, and you know, what a wonderful young man. Boom, they’re chopping heads.

So then I went into this. I said, yes, I would bring back waterboarding. And I would make it a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes.

What did you have in mind?

TRUMP: I had in mind going worse than waterboarding. It’s enough. We have right now a country that’s under siege. It’s under siege from a people, from — we’re like living in medieval times. If I have it to do and if it’s up to me, I would absolutely bring back waterboarding. And if it’s going to be tougher than waterboarding, I would bring that back, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As president, you would authorize torture?

TRUMP: I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective. If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do we win by being more like them?

TRUMP: Yes. I’m sorry. You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads. That’s what we have…

STEPHANOPOULOS: So we’re going to chop off heads…

TRUMP: We’re going to do things beyond waterboarding perhaps, if that happens to come.

Honey, where do we keep the waterboard?

torture

From the Dept. of You Can’t Make This Shit Up, the following headline from the Life section of this morning’s Detroit Free Press:

“Try these CIA interrogation tactics in personal situations at home, office”

The Freep’s online version of the article, originally from the Chicago Tribune, has a slightly less horrifying though no less astonishing headline: “CIA interrogation tactics that can be used at home.”

The article is plugging a new book, Get the Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone to Tell All written by former CIA interrogator Paul Houston and co-authors Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero. In the book:

Houston … isn’t suggesting that you treat your nearest and dearest like threats to national security. But he does say that a modified version of the approach he honed at the CIA can be highly effective.

I’m wondering if Houston and his co-authors mean the kind of tried-and-true methods culled by The Washington Post from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program:

  • Rectal feeding and rectal rehydration for uncooperative subjects;
  • Threatening to harm loved ones, including telling one subject that his mother’s throat would be cut if he failed to provide information;
  • Locking a subject in a coffin-sized confinement box for 266 straight hours;
  • Waterboarding a single subject 183 times;
  • Stripping subjects naked, shackling them in a standing position for as much as 72 straight hours, and dousing them with cold water.

What an invaluable resource for home and office.  Is your teenager hesitant to tell you where he and his buddies went last night? Try rectal rehydration! Do you have a subordinate at the office who can’t explain why he keeps missing his sales quotas? The confinement box works wonders!

Just imagine the bestselling advice book these guys could have written with Adolf Eichmann