Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Medieval Times

Donald Trump responds to criticism over his statement in Saturday night's debate that he would bring back "a hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding if he becomes president.
CHUCK TODD: Okay. What's the worse?
DONALD TRUMP: Well you didn't see what I said before that. What I said before that was in the Middle East you have people chopping off other people's heads. This hasn't happened since Medieval times. There's never been anything like this. And I talked about that. And then I said, "And by the way, waterboarding is peanuts compared to what we're talking about happening there." So I said, "I would absolutely approve waterboarding and I'd go a lot further than waterboarding."
CHUCK TODD: What does that mean? What is a lot further? I mean--
DONALD TRUMP: I'm not going to define it to you on this program. But I would be very much in favor of going beyond waterboarding. And believe me, in terms of getting information, it works.
CHUCK TODD: Don't you worry though, that look -- we're the United States. We set an example. We're supposed to be better than that. We're supposed to be -- as much as -- look, look at the Medieval, we don't do those things.
DONALD TRUMP: It's like Medieval times over there.
CHUCK TODD: We don't want to be barbaric. They want to be barbaric. We're not barbaric.
DONALD TRUMP: OK. They can do it, but we can't. Look, when they fly planes into the World Trade Center, kill thousands of people and many many other things, you see what's happening all over the world -- whether it's Paris or here or anywhere else -- you can do waterboarding and you can go a step beyond waterboarding. It wouldn't bother me even a little bit.

Trump seems to derive his policy on interrogation from a scene in Pulp Fiction in which a crime boss is about to get revenge on someone who has just assaulted him.  He says he will call on "who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass."

Around the world, public opinion is divided about whether government-sponsored torture can ever be justified as part of efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, according to a spring 2015 Pew Research Center survey of 38 nations. A median of 45% across the countries polled said they did not believe use of torture by their governments against suspected terrorists to try to gain information about possible attacks in their country could be justified. A median of 40% thought the use of torture could be justified in such cases.
Looking at public opinion across major regions, the view that torture may be justified is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, where a median of 55% hold this view; it is least common in Latin America (a median of 25%).
The U.S. public is among the most likely to consider torture justifiable: 58% say this, while only 37% disagree. There are only five nations in the survey where larger shares of the public believe torture against suspected terrorists can be justified: Uganda (78%), Lebanon (72%), Israel (62%), Kenya (62%) and Nigeria (61%).