Comments by Republican front-runner Donald Trump in support of waterboarding and the torture of terror suspects have damaged the United States’ global standing, according to a UN expert.
“I think the… standing of the United States as a law-abiding nation and as an example to other states to fight crime and terrorism within the strictures of the rule of law is very seriously damaged by this kind of rhetoric,” says Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture.
Although he does not use Trump’s name, Mendez was responding to a question about the real-estate mogul, who has said during the Republican campaign that he supports waterboarding and other extreme interrogation techniques that are a “hell of a lot worse” and said he had “no problem” with the targeting of terror suspects’ families.
“If any of these candidates gets elected and reinstates waterboarding or any of the other harsh techniques — euphemistically called enhanced interrogation tactics — that is going to be illegal,” he says. “They are illegal as a matter of international law, they are illegal as a matter of constitutional law in the United States, they are illegal as a matter of military law. The uniform code of military justice (in the United States) expressly prohibits torture.”