The United States prides itself as a progressive country of equality and diversity. That said, the current leadership has reflected otherwise.
With elections just around the corner, I have felt the need to voice my opinions everywhere I can. However, there are constant reminders of Donald Trump's bullshit all over social media. You've probably heard it all, so this time I'm taking another approach - I'm unpacking baggage from before he was elected. I recently stumbled upon something he said in 2015 and was immediately inclined to shed light on the issue.
Trump endorses torture.
This is the kind of person he is. Waterboarding is a highly disputed torture technique used to extract information from adversaries, and Trump said that he wants to bring it back because "it works," adding that "… if it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us." (from The Guardian)
His disturbing rhetoric about the inhumane treatment endorses the violation of countless human rights and demonstrates profound hypocrisy for America. Waterboarding explicitly transgresses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its implementation would contradict the standard that the U.S. holds others to. Also, side note: no, Donald Trump, it doesn't work.
America and the United Nations are closely intertwined, holding the U.S. to the standards set forth by the UDHR. As a global power, America's actions are critically analyzed. Contravening the unalienable rights that the U.S. claims to endorse only establishes precedent for other countries to adopt. Article 5 of the UDHR states, "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment." Prisoners experience a drowning sensation, causing them both extreme physical and mental distress. The utilization of waterboarding would be a gravely explicit breach of conduct. Similarly, article 6 states, "everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law." Just because individuals seemingly "deserve" it, doesn't diminish their inherent right to due process. By virtue of being human, no rights are worthy of exclusion, no matter how badly Trump lets his revengeful emotions cloud any ounce of judgement he might have.
Incorporating waterboarding as a technique of information gathering would be indicative of significant hypocrisy on behalf of America. After World War II, the U.S. executed six Japanese Generals because they had tortured American war prisoners with methods including waterboarding. Donald Trump's ideology of fighting fire with fire must be a two way street for it to even remotely pass as justified.
If we advocate for a process that we then condemn others for using, we are holding ourselves to a separate, unfair standard.
A report released by the Senate claims that upon 9/11 investigations in 2002, al-Qaeda member, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times, leading to coughing, vomiting, and "involuntary spasms of the torso and extremities."
And get this - he still gave them NO information. Nothing.
The psychological torture involved in the method is too disruptive to extract trustworthy information from the inflicted. The reason I mention all of this is that I believe it speaks to the type of person that Donald Trump is. As we enter the 2020 elections, I can only hope that voters prioritize morality. It's one thing to support an individual based off of perceived self benefit, but it's another thing to place that over humanity. We cannot endorse a man that embodies such cruelty. Selfishness cannot win again.