After he was criticized for claiming that he could force the United States military to break the current law banning torture methods like waterboarding, Donald Trump backtracked his comments and said instead that he would like to change the laws to include waterboarding “at a minimum.”
Trump has been vocal in the past regarding the issue of how to deal with suspected terrorists, and in December he said that not only should the U.S. target terrorists, but also their families.
“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Trump said. “They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”
Trump has also voiced support for bringing back waterboarding. In November, he said,“I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us.”
When asked about his stance on waterboarding at a GOP debate in February, Trump said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” because in the Middle East, “we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people.”
In response to Trump’s comments, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden said that Trump’s plans to target the families of terrorists, and to bring back “enhanced interrogation techniques” that are “worse than waterboarding,” would result in the American armed forces refusing to act.
“[U.S. military personnel] are not required — in fact you are required not to follow an unlawful order,” Hayden said. “That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”
During a GOP debate Thursday, Fox News Host Bret Baier asked Trump what he would do if the military “refused to carry out” his orders.
Editor's note: This article, written by Rachel Blevins, originally published on Truth in Media on March 7, 2016.