Mr. Trump, Did Torture Work In Syria?
“Torture works.” That’s the repeated assertion, made without evidence, by President Donald Trump. How it works and what it achieves are things that Trump is unable to articulate.
This morning, unfortunately, the world has a test case to see whether torture works. Amnesty International reports that the pro-Russian government of Syria has for years been committing systematic torture at its Saydnaya Prison. The torture is used to force people to give confessions, whether the confessions are true or not. Then, the confessions are used at a trial with no opportunity for defense, that lasts only one or two minutes, as long as it takes to declare the prisoner guilty. Finally, the prisoners are killed in mass executions.
Donald Trump has said that he wants to see mass executions as well as torture, though he has proposed mass executions without any trial at all, not even the absurdity performed at Saydnaya Prison by the Syrian government.
Donald Trump says that torture works. If torture works, why hasn’t the Syrian government been able to use it to end its civil war? The Syrian government has been using torture for years and years, but it hasn’t stopped rebels there from fighting. The war goes on and on.
If Donald Trump has any moral decency at all, he will look at the report on what is happening at the Saydnaya Prison in Syria. Then, he will 1) Admit in public that he was wrong, denouncing torture because it does not work, and 2) Confront Vladimir Putin over Russia’s support of the government of Syria.