Intel Committee Ranking Member Schiff – Trump and Cruz Comments on Muslims and Torture Appalling, Dangerous to National Security

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:

“Some of the statements from presidential candidates in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels have been, quite simply, appalling and dangerous to our national security. 

“Torture is immoral and illegal. It is also a great way to get people to say anything to make the pain stop, and send authorities chasing false leads.  Comments by Donald Trump espousing the virtues of torture are spoken by a person with no national security experience and who obviously knows little about how to obtain reliable and accurate intelligence.  Comments by Senator Cruz are also as offensive and ill-informed as they are counterproductive.  His demagogic suggestion that we ‘patrol’ Muslim neighborhoods and put the entire Muslim community under the glare of suspicion will lead to greater radicalization at home and feed into the ISIS narrative abroad. It also would set a modern precedent of singling out entire communities and ethnicities for unequal treatment and protection under the law.

“These proposals by leading candidates for the presidency show that claiming to oppose ‘political correctness’ is often a subterfuge for expressing the most divisive and bigoted views.  These calls for torture and religious policing have never worked, will never work, and should never be attempted. Instead, the U.S. must continue to take strong military action abroad when necessary, build the capacity of foreign governments to counter terrorism, and work to defeat the terrorists' message with our own, positive vision – not one of exclusion, anger, bigotry and torture.”