Trump’s lunacy raises serious questions for Turnbull and Bishop
Donald Trump's willingness to re-embrace torture, CIA black sites and, perhaps, another Middle East invasion all raise major questions for the Turnbull government and its willingness to work with the US.
The government's strategy for coping with a Trump presidency so far has been a mixture of forced enthusiasm and denialism. Clearly anxious for Trump not to kill off the pointless but, for Turnbull, politically important Trans Pacific Partnership and Turnbull's refugee deal with the Obama administration, the Prime Minister has engaged in some slightly embarrassing truckling. "We are steadfast allies & trusted friends with a great future ahead of us," he tweeted in response to Trump's inauguration. Turnbull has previously lauded Trump as “a practical experienced businessmen who gets things done". Turnbull couldn't even bring himself to criticise Trump for "getting" the killing of the TPP done, claiming that Trump might change his mind. The nearest his government came to criticising La Donald was when Christopher Pyne offered that "it’s the wrong move for the United States".
More difficult matters loom, however, given Trump's other statements this week. For a start, Trump has flagged a return to the use of torture by its security agencies, claiming they have advised him torture is an effective intelligence-gathering technique -- which is either yet another Trump lie or delusional on the part of intelligence officials. Even GOP leaders immediately attacked Trump, insisting torture was illegal, led by John McCain, who has firsthand experience of torture.