Trump and Torture

Trump, Torture & Alternative Facts

In a post-truth world, knowledge and experience matter more than ever:

Donald Trump (President for 1 week, businessman, reality TV Star) on Torture

“Absolutely I feel it works”

Steve Kleinman (a retired air force colonel and senior adviser to the FBI-led team that interrogates terrorist suspects) on torture.

“There is, at best, anecdotal evidence to support torture. There is, on the other hand, a robust body of scientific literature and field testing that demonstrates the efficacy of a relationship-based, rapport-based, cognitive-based approach to interrogation, as well as a robust literature that would suggest torture immediately undermines a source’s ability to be a reliable reporter of information: memory is undermined, judgment is undermined, decision-making is undermined, time-references are undermined.”

John Mc Cain (US Senator of 25 years, Chair of the Senate Armed Forces committee and most importantly a victim of Torture) on Torture.

 “The use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights.”

President Trump spoke this week of the US fighting” fire with fire when it comes to torture.”

Here, in Spirasi we see the realities of torture on a daily basis. Since 2001, we have provided holistic care to over 4200 victims of torture. In 2016 we saw over 400 people who were suffering the effects of torture. These effects included

Physical: Scars, Burns, Musculoskeletal pain, Nerve damage, headaches and Insomnia.

Psychological: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Dissociation, Flashbacks, Nightmares, intrusive thoughts and a Fear of Medical Procedures.

Social:  Panic attacks, Isolation, Fear, Difficulties with trust, Avoidance and a Breakdown in social relations.

These effects came as a result of whippings, beatings, electric shocks, burns chemical and thermal, rape, sexual humiliation, mental torture, sensory deprivation, general humiliation and many more horrific acts.

These are not alternative facts, they are just facts.

As “for fighting fire with fire “,  are the likes of  Robert Mugabe, North Korea and ISIS now the benchmark for how we treat people, what about decency, compassion, respect, dignity and rule of law?

Hopefully, the Taoiseach will remind President Trump of Ireland’s opposition to the use of torture, when he makes his annual pilgrimage to Washington in March.

Robert King

Spirasi Fundraising & Development Officer

Spirasi is the only specialist centre in Ireland for rehabilitating Survivors of Torture. Spirasi provides the following services, Initial assessment of survivors of torture, Medical legal reports for the protection process of survivors, Therapeutic services for survivors, including individual, group and family therapy, Psycho-social and transitional/integration support services and Educational courses, such as accredited English language classes, IT Literacy, Numeracy and others.

To find out more , visit ,email or call (01) 8389664

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213 North Circular Road
Phibsborough Road
213 North Circular Road
Ph: 018389664
Fax: 01 8823547