Trump Will Defer to Mattis on Torture Ban

Insists US Will Win ISIS War With or Without Torture

In comments that signal a shift away from his talk earlier this week over the US resuming the use of torture on detainees, President Trump today confirmed in comments during a joint conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, saying he is leaving the torture question up to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Mattis has made clear his opposition to torture, and his belief that it isn’t effective, and despite Trump once again today insisting he believes torture works, he will defer to Mattis, and Trump says he expects Mattis to keep the ban in place.

This makes the entire discussion over the week about torture, with Trump insisting top intelligence chiefs had assured him torture was a great way to extract information, pretty pointless, as both Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo had made clear their opposition to the practice, and Trump apparently did not intend to overrule them.

Trump also insisted during the news conference that he is confident the US will win the war against ISIS with or without the use of torture, which once again raises questions as to why he brought the idea up again in the first place, with his pro-torture comments during the campaign having been more or less forgotten in the face of Pompeo’s and Mattis’ public criticism of the idea.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Valerianus Maximus

    How many Daesh prisoners are being taken by the US to be tortured? Zero.

    • outer_rl

      Indeed – to start torturing suspects would require ending Obama’s practise of assassinating them.

      • Don

        That doesn’t even make sense. Maybe it’s time now to drop the Obama hate?

        I’m going to be as receptive to criticism of Obama as anybody but it has to be at least a bit valid. Yours appears to be something else, perhaps originationg from the southern states and being more about Obama the man than anything else.

        • Ghana

          You are a CIA bull horn, regardless of where your Satanic carcass resides. Remember folks, this guy Dong is part of the murder, steal and rape club. His specific task is to divide through trolling.

          • Don

            Why would you think that when everything I’ve said has shown that I’m interested in exposing the CIA. And ‘satanic’? How so? Do you hear me supporting the prowar agenda?
            Seriously?
            luv from Canada.

          • Ghana

            You just defended exe president Obama. Not one banker, defense contractor or CONgress person has been indicted for War Crimes. All but a handful re complicit in the resource theft conspiracy and anyone defending them in any manner under any circumstances is aiding and abetting in those criminal acts. Therefore as these actions are Satanic in conduct and nature those defending them are children of the first liar, theif and murderer known as Ha Satan.

          • Don

            Don’t be silly. I condemn the US but I’m not buying into the demonization of Obama which is primarily racism which is mixed in with US politics.

            If you want to invent a sky fairy satan then do so but don’t expect me to go along with it. If I did then I would recongnize the great satan for the country it is.

          • Ghana

            There is no sky fairy. There is a Supreme creator and employees who thought because they helped build the pearls (Goldie Locks planets) of this universe that they should own and manage them instead of transporting us to them. Lucifer as a universal executive believed he deserved to be CEO and with the attack on the prototype parents, split the single lobed brain into the dual hemisphere we struggle with today (a house divided).
            This body of ours is a universal Ferrari designed to inherit all planets designed like ours. Yeshua the Christ was the first RNA/Word created. Through Him all things were created for Him. Just because you, atheists like you and the nihilists refuse to believe in what the Luciferians and children of Yahweh believe doesn’t provide you validity. History shows competing perspectives whether they be papyrus or stone etchings. Creator/Mainframe vs enemy/virus. There is an interloper running the show here for now but, his time grows short. He is roaring like a lion and devouring all that he can in an attempt to harness your universal energy and all like you (unwilling and willing participants) to either kidnap these Ferraris or destroy them all. I truly care about your soul and pray that you realize there is a Messiah who walked among His creation in order to preserve it into perpetuity. There is a reason we are here and the universe groans in anticipation. Physics has proven with the dual slit experiment that without consciousness perceiving reality there is none to perceive. That my brother is all the evidence I need.

            Luv from the south

          • Don

            Interesting! Can you explain further about the competing perspectives that are written on papyrus or stone etchings?

            Are you saying that Lucifer split Adam’s and Eve’s brains into two hemispheres.

          • Ghana

            Yes, the action of eating the forbidden fruit genetically modified our prototype parents and split the brain into 2 competing hemispheres. The belief and acceptance of Yeshua as the Truth, Way and Lifestyle bridges that chasm. When a person becomes immersed in the way the desires to have diminish and the action to give becomes the Truth and life of that individual. Measure them by their fruit comes to mind.

          • Don

            You might not believe this Ghana but I was just eating an apple! I had a little trouble swallowing the last little bit! Then my brian stratde to thorb und……… wots hepanunggggggggggggggg………………. aahhhhhhhhhhhhhh …………fffffffuuuuuuuuucccccc……….

            luv from Canada.

          • Ghana

            Probably more like smoking out of an apple Don. Don’t worry just a side effect from the ganja you toked. Keep that sense of humor, you’re going to need it.

          • Ghana

            The US is Mystery Babylon not the great Satan. D.C. is where his throne is. Uncle Samael will come out and prove his existence as a being and not just a marketing tool. The day approaches.

        • outer_rl

          Obama’s drone assassinations dropped 20,000-30,000 bombs a year. He launched 10 time more strikes than Bush did.

          The reason is simple. Whereas Bush used his CIA operatives and special forces to capture suspects and torture them (with water boarding, beatings, stress positions, sleep deprivation, etc), Obama instead dropped a bomb on them.

          Now I don’t think Trump is going to bring back torture. But if he did, it would probably mean he would want more suspects, and so like Bush, drop fewer drone bombs.

          • Don

            Sorry but none of that makes much sense. It’s in stark contrast to your later message which does.

        • outer_rl
        • outer_rl
          • Don

            I wouldn’t doubt that Obama’s drone strikes were ten times more numberous than Bush’s bombp,bomg strikes, even thought I would suggest that isn’t relevant. The relevance is in how many people were killed in the bombs strikes by Bush2 and the drone strikes by Obama.

            So let me submit that Bush’s bombing killed ten times more people than Obama’s drone strikes. Let’s use that as the basis for the debate. you can take it from there if you like?

            luv from Canada.

          • outer_rl

            Why would I make that assumption? From my knowledge of weapons science, there aren’t liberal bombs and conservative bombs. Obama isn’t dropping love and honey. He hasn’t be prosecuting thousands of terrorist suspects.

            Bush captured people and put them in guantanamo bay. Obama hasn’t done so. He’s dropped more bombs – openly stating that he’s trying to kill of al qaeda. The arithmetic is pretty clear.

          • Don

            I’ve read stats that say Bush2 dropped 88,000 tons of bombs on Iraq alone during his phony war.

          • outer_rl

            It does make sense that B-52s would drop heavier bombs than unmanned drones. I think the escalation was particularly on drones strikes in Pakistan. The bombing of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is far smaller in scale than the bombing of the Iraqi government in 2003.

            Obama did increase the scope of bombing and proxy wars quite considerably. When Bush came to power, the only ‘failed states’ run to some extent by jihadi militias were Somalia and Afghanistan, a combined population of 27m people. Bush then wrecked Iraq, which brought the failed state population total (with population growth) in 2008 to 65 million people. Obama, through arming militias and bombing/destabilising Libya, Yemen and Syria, has brought the failed state populations at the mercy of jihadi terrorists to an estimated total (with population growth) in 2016 of 134 million.

            This is the context in which the policy of the USA and her allies have been destabilising the world – and Obama’s only tool for trying to keep a lid on it has been drone assassinations. I’m against torture, it is unethical, a dangerous tool of repression, and it doesn’t work for extracting information, but I can see it isn’t the biggest issue here – it’s a side show compared with what’s really going on.

          • Don

            That’s a reasoned reply for a change.

            I’m not so much for defending Obama as I am intent on the reality of the situation. Bush2 started a war in Iraq based on lies and then some expect that it wouldn’t escalate into proxy wars throughout the ME. That resulting, it’s pretty crazy to condemn Obama for what results out of it.

            But each action to escalate those proxy wars in the ME should be looked on as it’s merits dictate. Or the lack thereof too of course.

            And argument on the use of drones over bombs is not an intelligent way of doing it. My argument against those who try to do that won’t be much more than pointing out the fact that the use of drones has been more discriminating killing. And then also, pointing out that the reason why they can’t accept that is nothing more than policial preferences for/against Obama. Then a lot of the time I take the trouble to point out that which is against Obama is usually motivated by racist hate.

            Besides that, and between you and me and for what it’s worth. The Gulf war by GHWBush was a reaction to the falling Soviet Union and the beginning of the US’s opportunity to wage wars across the entire ME and consolidate control and power over those countries where Russian influence was still prevailing. Control of oil resources ensure the ability of the US to control price to an acceptable level at which the US can survive. 20,000,000 barrels a day at $100+/barrel was bankrupting the US. It just wasn’t completed quickly enough and now Syria and Iran are lost to Russia/China.

          • outer_rl

            My thinking has been that US interest in the gulf monarchies is less about oil and more about money. Launching a war rarely lowers oil prices. The cost of gulf war 1 was so high it forced GHWB to raise taxes so he lost reelection in 1992. However, the USA’s deep state is tightly bound up with Gulf Arab money, and powerfully opposed to powerful Arab nationalist states threatening the independence of those gulf monarchies.

    • I predict we will eventually learn that you’re wrong about that.

      • Don

        Why didn’t somebody tell Trump to voice the obligatory standard reply that we won’t use torture?
        Is there any possible motive he could have had or is it just plain gatepost fu–ing stupid?

  • richard young

    Translation into Oldspeak: Daddy Mattis told little Donny no.

  • dieter heymann

    Defer to a person who by US law is obliged to say no anyway? That is really a new kind of governance.

  • Don

    I see by the comments that some of the people on this board have got the message. A country always denies that it will take part in torture, then goes ahead and does it covertly anyway. Simply because it works sometimes and modern techniques can separate the wheat from the chaff.
    I’ll assume I don’t have to explain that last comment for now at least?

    Would Trump be able to handle being told the truth on how torture must always be denied but will be used covertly whenever it’s deemed to be productive?

    Or will that be deemed to be above Trump’s pay grade?

  • Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

    Trump played tough-guy for pro-torture ignorant (and not) yahoos and then President Reasonable in publicly deferring to the experts (scare-quotes ad lib) whom he appointed. Sounds like win-win to me, especially since the policy adopted is the morally right one.

    • Don

      It’s exactly the opposite of a win-win. Can’t you see that others who matter outside your country will have formed the opinion that Trump favours torture and that all other opinions are nothing but smokescreens to cover up the truth.

      They’re not so stupid on the issue to think anything other than the truth and so the facade of the US ‘not tourturing’ just doesn’t play with them. It’s a simple truth that needs to be understood here on this board:

      All countries resort to torture and all countries’ leaders need to do everything in their power to convince others that they don’t.

      Knowing that and keeping that in mind, the only conclusion to arrive at is that Trump is just plain stupid. He can only get better because he can’t get any bloody worse!

      • Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

        You’re not from these parts, are you, Don.

        Just a wild guess.

        BTW: Just who are these “others,” what about them “matters” outside my country and why should their opinions mean diddly to me?

        Oops…looks like my idle curiosity just stalled out completely.

        • Don

          The opinion of others matters more on this issue than most other issues. So put your fu–ing you-all arrogance aside for a minute while I tell you something you need to know.

          It’s pretty simple. If people in other countries get the impression from your whackjob president that he applauds the use of torture then they will react according. So how does this grab ya for an idea of how an American is going to bedealt with. Instead of chopping his head off right away, they might pull all his fingernails and toenails out one by one. Or maybe something even more imaginative, because Trump shot off his stupid cakehole.

          • Marcus Aurelius Tarkus

            Wow!! I should take up fishing. Clearly, I know how to bait a hook.

  • eric

    Trump knows torture works But the secretary of defense is going to make the decision . And he says no . So the USA wins .

  • R.P. McMurphy

    Isn’t that special. The cultists of the Don get thrown a bone and he doesn’t break the law. They probably forgot that he already decided to drop torture after talking to Mad Dog once before.

  • Brian

    June 13, 2016 – U.S. Government: Torture Doesn’t Work

    63% of Americans believe torture of suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified to gather information. While they assume that beating the crap out of bad guys will get them to spill the beans – and prevent more terrorism – top American interrogation experts say that torture actually DECREASES the amount of information we’ll get and INCREASES terrorism. Torture INTERFERES With Our Ability to Fight Terrorism, Obtain Intelligence Information and Protect Our National Security

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-government-torture-doesnt-work/5530591