The current narrative on whether President-elect Donald J. Trump and waterboarding is found here with this piece at the Washington Post:
[In an interview with the New York Times] Trump signaled another shift on the question of how to treat terrorism suspects. During his presidential campaign, he had said that he would reinstate the use of waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques in the questioning of suspected terrorists.The only problem with this narrative, according to this piece at Slate, is that it's completely wrong.
“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” Trump said in February at a retirement community in South Carolina. “Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”
But Tuesday he suggested he might have changed his mind after interviewing a leading candidate for secretary of defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who headed the U.S. Central Command.
Mattis argued that he had never found harsh interrogation techniques “to be useful,” Trump said, adding that the retired general preferred building trust with “a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers.”
“I was very impressed by that answer,’’ Trump said.
Let's go directly to the Times transcript. When asked "where he was" on waterboarding, President-elect pussy grabber said:
So, I met with General Mattis, who is a very respected guy. In fact, I met with a number of other generals, they say he’s the finest there is. He is being seriously, seriously considered for secretary of defense, which is — I think it’s time maybe, it’s time for a general. Look at what’s going on. We don’t win, we can’t beat anybody, we don’t win anymore. At anything. We don’t win on the border, we don’t win with trade, we certainly don’t win with the military. General Mattis is a strong, highly dignified man. I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, what do you think of waterboarding? He said — I was surprised — he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ He said, ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.’ And I was very impressed by that answer. I was surprised, because he’s known as being like the toughest guy. And when he said that, I’m not saying it changed my mind. [Emphasis added.]So while he's impressed with what the retired Marine Corps General said, what was said still hasn't changed his mind that torture works.
In a Trump administration, torture is the new normal and I refuse to accept this new normal.