Black Lives Matter protester describes violent confrontation at Trump event

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump: Bring back waterboarding to fight Islamic State.

WASHINGTON: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called Sunday for the return of waterboarding, a near-drowning interrogation technique widely denounced as torture, saying it was “peanuts” compared to what Islamic State is doing.Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the two enduring frontrunners in the race to become the Republican party’s presidential candidate, have both indicated they would bring back waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogation” that were dropped by the US government, having widely been denounced as a form of torture. It was the latest in a series of inflammatory Trump responses to the threat of terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks that appear to have bolstered his poll numbers.

At least six Trump supporters shoved and tackled the protester, while one man punched the demonstrator and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground, according to CNN. In the latest ratcheting-up of rhetoric in the fallout from the Paris terror attacks, Trump told ABC News on Sunday he would “absolutely bring back” waterboarding in the fight against Islamic State militants. “They don’t use waterboarding over there,” he said, “they use chopping off people’s heads, they use drowning people – they put people in cages and drown them in the ocean then lift out the cage.” The real estate billionaire added that he thought waterboarding was “peanuts compared with what they are doing to us – what they did with [US journalist and Isis hostage] James Foley when they chopped off his head.” Later in the same ABC show, Carson, a former neurosurgeon, was asked if he would support Trump’s call to bring back the controversial interrogation technique.

A new Washington Post/ABC News national poll showed Trump leading the Republican presidential field with 32 percent, a 10 point lead over his nearest rival, Ben Carson. Trump, who ignited controversy earlier this week by calling for a registry of all Muslims in the United States, stepped up the hardline rhetoric in an interview with ABC News in which he advocated the use of simulated drownings, known as waterboarding, in interrogations of terrorism suspects. “I would bring it back. It all began when a well-known local activist began yelling, “Black lives matter!” As a fight began to break out around the protester, Trump stopped his speech and made a plea: “Get him the hell out of here, will you please?” “They said ‘Go home, n****r,’ and somebody punched me,” Mercutio Southall Jr. told after security removed him from the rally. “I punched back. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN that “the campaign does not condone this behavior.” But Trump wasn’t exactly discouraging his supporters. That answer split sharply along partisan lines, with 73 percent of Republicans saying it is “sometimes justified,” 50 percent of independents saying the same thing and only 32 percent of Democrats agreeing.

Trump slightly shifted his position on tracking Muslims and closing mosques after a storm of criticism, including by other Republican presidential candidates. Roughed up?” Trump said when he was asked about the incident on Fox News. “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” The incident took place a few days after Trump shamed a heckler because of his weight. “You know, it’s amazing. The heightened fears generated by the November 13 attacks in the French capital has been seen by some as an opportunity for more politically seasoned candidates to gain traction with voters that has so far eluded them. As the 1 February Iowa caucuses approach, the apparently rock-steady ascendancy of Trump over his more moderate rivals has begun to alarm the establishment of the Republican party, with reports that efforts are being redoubled to try and knock the reality TV celebrity from his perch.

Such anxieties will not have been calmed by further Trump comments to ABC that came across as a veiled threat that he was keeping open the option of running as an independent – contradicting his own pledge in September not to do so. “I will have to see what happens,” he said. “I have to be treated fairly. And on Sunday, Trump said yet again that he saw some Muslims in New Jersey cheering the day the World Trade Center towers fell — a rumor that has been repeatedly disproved. Jeb Bush, the onetime Republican establishment darling with the famous last name, dropped to six percent, his lowest percentage in two years of surveys, the Post said. All I want is a level playing field.” When the Obama administration took office in 2009, one of its first acts was to denounce waterboarding as torture. The practice, whereby a stream of water is poured over a cloth placed over a prisoner’s nose and mouth to simulate the sensation of drowning, has also been classified as torture by numerous international organizations, including the United Nations.

A couple of years later, it was confirmed by the CIA that waterboarding had been used in 2002 and 2003 against three prominent terror suspects, the alleged 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In December 2014, the Senate intelligence committee issued a report which said “the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were not effective”. But investigations by local newspapers have uncovered no evidence that the scenes ever happened, and New Jersey police and community leaders have firmly denied that they occurred.

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