Vice President-elect Mike Pence is doubling down on the Trump administration's sneering at anti-torture laws by asserting waterboarding will not be off the table the years to come.
Waterboarding simulates drowning by strapping a person to a board slopping downward while covering his face with a cloth and pouring water over it. Congress banned the torturous technique in 2005.
Trump’s promise to bring back “enhanced interrogation techniques” (read: torture methods), like the use of waterboarding, is probably his third favorite proposal right after building a wall and making Mexico pay for it and banning Muslims from the United States.
Republican Sen. John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, claimed during the Halifax Summit that any attempts to bring back waterboarding would be challenged in court.
However, during a session with John Dickerson, host of “Face the Nation,” Pence responded that although he has the greatest respect for those who oppose the idea, he would not rule out waterboarding as a matter of policy.
“What I can tell you is that going forward, as he outlined in that famous speech in Ohio, is that a President Donald Trump is going to focus on confronting and defeating radical Islamic terrorism as a threat to this country,” the veep-elect told Dickerson. “And we’re going to have a president again who will never say what we’ll never do.”
If Trump makes up his mind to go forward with this heinous proposal, he should expect some obstacles in his way.
Earlier this year, former CIA Director Michael Hayden asserted no CIA officer will ever again take part in waterboarding due to the political consequences of using the technique during the Bush administration.
He even said that if Trump wanted someone waterboarded, he should bring his “own damn bucket.”
The current CIA director John Brennan also said he would resign if the current or next president orders the CIA to resume the technique.