Torturous Logic

May 1, 2009

There are 2 people who need to shut up in the debate about “enhanced interrogation methods” used against captured Al Qaida Aholes:

  • Those who say that “torture doesn’t work.”
  • Those who say that waterboarding isn’t torture.

If your argument is that torture doesn’t work, then you’re not anti-torture, are you? To debate this issue seriously, you must start from the supposition that it works great. Otherwise, you’re just arguing about whether locking a child in a closet for the weekend makes them behave better next week, not about whether it’s wrong to lock children in closets for the weekend.

Those who say that waterboarding isn’t torture base their position on permanent damage. If it doesn’t cause permanent significant damage, it’s not torture. To refine it a little more: permanent physical damage. Obviously, many of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” are PTSD-worthy.

So if you burn someone with cigarettes, that’s torture. They’ll have scars. But are scars that significant.  Maybe that’s a borderline case.

Certainly, cutting off tits and testicles is torture. On that, even Sean Hannity would agree.

Waterboarding, done right, leaves no permanent physical damage. What else can we do to people that leaves no permanent physical damage?

Painful electrical shocks. Painful, but harmless, chemicals poured into eyes (especially if you don’t tell the interrogatee that the chemicals are the interrogatory equivalent of a whoopee cushion). Judicious stimulation of pressure points and nerve bundles.  Sewing eyelids to foreheads. Flaying, done carefully, peeling back skin that will soon be appropriately put back in place–maybe there’ll be a little scarring, but what if we can get Dr. 90210 to help out?

Splinters under nails. Properly sterilized, carefully inserted. Drops of water on the forehead for long periods of time. Torturing animals in front of the interrogatee. Probably that won’t work too well on Muslims, but who says EHTs are only for Muslims? Waterboarding with irradiated guaranteed sterilized urine instead of water. Anal rape with various objects with just enough lube to avoid tearing tissue, but with the objects rubbed with serrano peppers before insertion. Throwing people off cliffs and roofs with bungee cords attached, but not telling them they’re tethered. Taking people out and putting them in front of a firing squad over and over–and you could actually fire with blanks every now and then to make them pee their pants. Beating people  black and blue–bruises heal.

Ok, that’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure others could be much more creative.

George Bush ordered the torture of Al Qaida operatives, subject to not permanently damaging them. Anyone who says that’s not a fact is unqualified to talk about this issue.

What we learned from that torture saved many American lives. Anyone who won’t grant that point for the sake of argument is unqualified to talk about this issue.

The rest of you, let’s go…