DOES torture work and should it be used by Western democracies?
Donald Trump believes so.
Not for the first time The Northern Echo finds itself vehemently opposed to Mr Trump’s morally repugnant point of view.
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Questions about the efficacy and morality of torturing people are being asked once again following the new President’s pledge to “fight fire with fire” in his country’s dealings with terrorists.
In an interview with ABC America, Mr Trump said he would consider the use of waterboarding – an interrogation method where the person being tortured is made to feel like they are drowning.
Such techniques are inhumane, illegal and deliver bogus intelligence.
Terrorists would feel emboldened by signs that the West was jettisoning its principles and resorting to torture.
When the Senate Intelligence Committee published its report into CIA torture during the “war on terror”, it said there was no evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.
Furthermore, evidence extracted under torture is rightly inadmissible in a court.
“You can always make someone talk. The problem is what they say,” one of Saddam Hussein’s former torturers said.
He might also have been talking about Mr Trump who continues to dominate the international news agenda by stirring up fear, hatred and small-mindedness. The President appears hell bent on creating a world where all nations stoop to the most base behaviour, where nothing is off limits, where no one upholds decency, human rights and the rule of law.
Britain would be better off without Mr Trump’s friendship if this is the price for maintaining our “special relationship.”