Formerly, president-elect Trump pledged to reinstate the torture method, waterboarding. But after talking to Ret. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Trump was given a new perspective on the interrogation technique.
“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?'” said Trump to The New York Times earlier this week. “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.'”
Waterboarding is the interrogation technique simulating the experience of drowning whereas water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive.
Trump didn’t say he was now against the technique citing how other military groups use much more violent torture techniques.
“I’m not saying it changed my mind. Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard. But I’ll tell you what, I was impressed by that answer,” said Trump.
But, he also said he would see what the American public thinks before making any major decisions about the interrogation.
“It’s not going to make the kind of a difference that maybe a lot of people think. If it’s so important to the American people, I would go for it. I would be guided by that,” said Trump. “But General Mattis found it to be very less important, much less important than I thought he would say.”
Apparently, Trump was so impressed with Mattis that he is considering making him his secretary of defense.
Mattis has been in service for 44 years and he led the task force into southern Afghanistan in 2001 and then led a Marine division into Iraq in 2003. The general was also recognized for his leadership effort in the 2004 Battle of Fallujah in Iraq, which is known as one of the bloodiest of wars.
Author’s Note: This just shows that Trump can be reasoned with and is open to hearing all sides of an argument. It’s a redeeming quality for any leader, especially the future president of the United States.