4-Star General Convinces Trump to Reconsider Pro-Torture Stance

I slammed Trump in March for calling for more torture and waterboarding.

I pointed out that the overwhelming majority of military and intelligence experts say that torture prevents the ability to obtain helpful information, makes us less safe, decreases national security and only creates more terrorists.

Saturday, Trump met with a very high-level military man: Four-Star General James Mattis , former head of the U.S. Central Command, Unified Combatant Command and  U.S. Joint Forces Command, as well as being Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.

The New York Times reports:

On the issue of torture, Mr. Trump suggested he had changed his mind about the value of waterboarding after talking with James N. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, who headed the United States Central Command.


“He said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful,’” Mr. Trump said. He added that Mr. Mattis found more value in building trust and rewarding cooperation with terrorism suspects: “‘Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers, and I’ll do better.’”


“I was very impressed by that answer,” Mr. Trump said.


Torture, he said, is “not going to make the kind of a difference that a lot of people are thinking.”

Exactly …

Trump’s climate denial is just one of the forces that points towards war | George Monbiot

The failure to get to grips with our crises, by all mainstream political parties, is likely to lead to a war between the major powers in my lifetime

Wave the magic wand and the problem goes away. Those pesky pollution laws, carbon caps and clean-power plans: swish them away and the golden age of blue-collar employment will return. This is Donald Trump’s promise, in his video message on Monday, in which the US president-elect claimed that unleashing coal and fracking would create “many millions of high-paid jobs”. He will tear down everything to make it come true.

But it won’t come true. Even if we ripped the world to pieces in the search for full employment, leaving no mountain unturned, we would not find it. Instead, we would merely jeopardise the prosperity – and the lives – of people everywhere. However slavishly governments grovel to corporate Luddism, they will not bring the smog economy back.

Related: ‘Extraordinarily hot’ Arctic temperatures alarm scientists

Even if we ripped the world apart in the search for full employment, leaving no mountain unturned, we wouldn’t find it

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Five key charts you need to see before the autumn statement 2016

As the graphs and charts point out, Phillip Hammond does not have much scope for giveaways

The UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, will deliver his maiden autumn statement against a backdrop of weaker growth prospects, rising inflation and a large deficit.

Scope for headline giveaways will be limited but Hammond is likely to signalmeasures to help so-called Jams – those families who are “just about managing”. Here are five key charts to consider before he stands up.

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