Rights Group Warns of Trump’s Talk of Torture, Drone Strikes

Not Sure Which Campaign Pledges of Trump's to Take Seriously

President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, trying to out-hawk rivals during the Republican primaries and offering broad policy changes during the general campaign. The comments raised a lot of eyebrows, and continue to now that he’s won the election.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is the latest to express alarm at things Trump promised during the campaign, including reviving the policy of torturing detainees, as well as talk of killing the families of suspected terrorists. HRW warned that President Obama’s “half-measures” on moving away from torture, including not prosecuting anybody, would make it pretty easy for Trump to quickly lower standards.

At the same time, HRW conceded that they aren’t sure which of Trump’s pledges to take seriously, saying in particular that they don’t take the talk of killing families at face value, as it is “just a blatant war crime.” Still, that he said it at all has people wanting to keep a close eye on him.

Trump was an outspoken advocate of torture during the primaries, saying he wanted “waterboarding and worse” done to detainees, saying he supported such actions even if they don’t actually work for the sake of interrogation because “they deserve it anyway.”

Though Trump initially called for the killing of terror suspects’ families, he later denied doing so. When initially confronted about the illegally of killing civilians, he insisted it wasn’t “fair” that the US couldn’t do so.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.