One of the major rallying cries of Donald Trump’s campaign for President is his pledge to commit war crimes against America’s enemies. Not only has Trump promised to murder the families of suspected terrorists, he has stated that he will bring back waterboarding – a torture method that causes severe physical and psychological trauma that can last decades, and is banned under international law.
This of course is no big deal to Trump, who wants to use the Bush Administration’s notoriously ineffective technique of extracting information from potential terrorists, alongside methods that he says would be “a hell of a lot worse.”
Unfortunately for Trump, should he miraculously become President, it seems his own government would explicitly refuse to follow orders.
In an interview with NBC News, CIA Director John Brennan stated unequivocally that his agency will not engage in what have been called “enhanced interrogation techniques” (or “torture” for anyone with a heartbeat), even if directly ordered to by a future president.
“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution [the CIA] needs to endure,” said Brennan.
When pressed specifically about waterboarding, Brennan replied:
“Absolutely, I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”
It isn’t often you get the head of the CIA publicly stating he will refuse to follow orders from a potential future President, but you can take it as a sign that the organs of government do not regard Donald Trump (or rival Ted Cruz) as legitimate political leaders.
In any other time this should be a huge cause for concern for the Republican Party, but given it is falling apart at the seams, the CIA’s dismissal of Trump’s policies is the least of their worries. The GOP is now in such a sorry state that it’s mere existence is no longer a given.
That being said, Brennan’s direct repudiation of Trump’s major policy platform perfectly illustrates just how completely off the rails his presidential candidacy really is. If the CIA — an organization not exactly known for its bleeding heart liberalism — is concerned about your commitment to human rights, it is safe to say there’s a major problem. Furthermore, when they are stating publicly that they will not follow your orders, it might be time to rethink the job you’re angling for.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.