Presidential candidate Donald Trump said in a speech Monday night he would absolutely reinstate the use of waterboarding and other torture methods to interrogate terror suspects.
"Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat," he said. "And I would approve more than that." Trump went on to argue that waterboarding is an effective means of extracting information, and that "only a stupid person" could think otherwise. But he also conceded that his support of the technique was not based on efficacy: "If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway, for what they're doing," he said, before repeating for at least the fifth time, "It works."
Trump's plan is surprising given that he reportedly possesses the "world's greatest memory," and thus surely recalls the content of the Senate torture report released last year. The investigation found the CIA's use of torture, including waterboarding, did not work to prevent terrorist attacks and was applied to at least 26 known innocents, among them a mentally challenged man whose cries of pain were recorded in an attempt to make one of his family members talk.