Donald Trump still loves torture

The New York Times indulged a bit of wishful thinking last week when it reported on Trump's surprise that his likely secretary of defense Marine Corps General James Mattis thought torture didn't work, suggesting that this meant that Trump would abandon his campaign promise to torture the shit out of anyone he didn't like, because if it's good enough for ISIS, it's good enough for Trump.

But the NYT failed to give adequate emphasis to how Trump followed those remarks, saying: "I'm not saying it changed my mind about torture," then explaining that if his base liked the idea of torture, he would torture, regardless of the efficacy of this.

In case there's any doubt, consider that Trump's new CIA chief is Kansas GOP Congressman Mike Pompeo, who says that it wasn't torture when the Guantanamo soldiers shoved food up their prisoners asses, says that being called Islamophobic is a badge of honor, and loves torture.

So yeah, the new president is going to torture people, and that will give the green light for torture of captured American and allied fighters, and it will not produce actionable intelligence, and it will be a stain on America's soul for centuries to come.

The initial misreporting may have stemmed from wishful thinking by The New York Times reporters – and American liberals in general – who hope that the most outrageous pieces of Trump demagoguery during the election were off-the-cuff campaign rhetoric which he is now abandoning. A pledge to prosecute Hillary Clinton is apparently being discarded, as is a plan for the immediate construction of a wall to seal off the Mexican border. The abandonment of agreements on climate change and on Iran's nuclear programme are becoming less categorical and more nuanced.

But this is not so much a sign of a more moderate Trump emerging as it is fresh evidence of his shallowness and flippancy. He tells people whom he wants to influence exactly what they want to hear. Nothing is off limits. He not only flatters his audience, but does so in a way that is thrilling and attention-grabbing and sure to dominate the news agenda.

Despite the New York Times liberal wishful thinking, Donald Trump is still in favour of waterboarding
[Patrick Cockburn/Independent]

(Image: Roger Wilkinson)

(via Naked Capitalism)