Politics

Petraeus Doesn’t Believe Trump Will Revive The Use Of Torture

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus said Tuesday evening he doesn’t believe that GOP President-elect Donald Trump will revive the use of torture.

“For what it is worth, I have publicly, as you know, for a number of years stated that enhanced interrogation techniques — whatever you want to call this — doesn’t work,” Petraeus told CNN in an interview, the Hill reports.

“It certainly doesn’t work sufficiently to justify the enormous penalties that you will end up incurring as a result of doing that,” he added.

Trump has long been in favor of reintroducing waterboarding and other practices he has referred to as a “hell of a lot worse.”

Although Trump’s views may have been slightly tempered by a meeting with his pick for secretary of defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Trump nevertheless still believes in the importance of torture to combat groups like the Islamic State, who readily make use of atrocities to inspire fear.

“I was surprised [by his answer], because he’s known as being like the toughest guy,” Trump said, referencing Mattis’ beliefs on torture.”

“And when he said that, I’m not saying it changed my mind,” Trump added.

“Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard,” Trump said. “If it’s so important to the American people, I would go for it. I would be guided by that.”

His refusal to explicitly disavow the use of torture recently prompted 176 retired flag officers, generals and admirals to write a letter urging Trump not to make use of torture techniques.

“We know from experience that U.S. national security policies are most effective when they uphold those ideals,” the letter read. “For these reasons, we are concerned about statements made during the campaign about the use of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. The use of waterboarding or any so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” is unlawful under domestic and international law.”

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