Today, with 6 days left to the election, we're talking war crimes - torture in particular.
First, let's start with the legal definition:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.That's from part Part 1, Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. It was signed by Ronald Reagan in April of 1988 and ratified by the US Senate and thus by virtue of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, is, as they say, "the supreme law of the land."
Now let's look at what Donald Trump has proposed.
This past February, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump said:
STEPHANOPOULOS: As president, you would authorize torture?There is nothing in what Trump said that doesn't conflict with the UN Convention/US Law. And do I need to point out that even as (shudder) president, Trump simply doesn't have the authority to "authorize" waterboarding or indeed anything "beyond" it?
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.
Consider this: How much heat has been generated by his party over the so-called "executive overreaches" of the Obama Administration? There was nothing to them, by the way. And certainly nothing like Trump, with a stroke of a pen in his tiny pussy grabbing hand, simply "authorizing" war crimes. To quote Bob Dole, "Where's the outrage?" Oh, that's right. We're talking Donald Trump here.
Trump seems to be aiming towards justifying the use of torture with the "enemy cutting heads off" argument.
That won't work either. Again from the Convention, this time Part 1, Article 2, Section 2 we can read:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.Still US Law, Donald. You still can't do it.
He was still stumping on this this week.
That's not the end of Trump's proposed war criminality. Last December he went with this:
Last December, Trump said:
Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would kill the families of terrorists in order to win the fight against ISIS. The billionaire businessman was asked by the hosts of Fox News' "Fox and Friends" how to fight ISIS but also minimize civilian causalities when terrorists often use human shields.Again, Donald. Can you read the UN Convention? The terrorists' families would undoubtedly fall under the "third parties" clause. You're killing innocent (or else they'd be terrorists themselves) in order to coerce the terrorists not to be terrorists.
"The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families," Trump said.
I've alluded to it before, but let's settle it. Is any of the above actually and legally considerred a "war crime"?
Yes, according to the War Crimes Act of 1996. Anything that's a "grave breach" of the Geneva Conventions (and that includes the definition of torture above) is, by US law, considered a war crime.
Donald Trump has proposed war crimes.
And now my so far unanswered question to my senator: Senator Toomey, given that Donald Trump, the candidate for the presidency from your party, has seriously proposed war crimes as foreign policy, are you still "unpersuaded" that he's unworthy of your vote?
Racist birther, and now war crimes proposer. What else do you need to know about Donald Trump to convince you not to vote for him?