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"Every one of us can imagine the following scenario: We get lucky; we get the No. 3 guy in al-Qaida, and we know there's a big bomb going off in America in three days and this guy knows where it is. We have the right and the responsibility to beat it out of him." -- former President Bill Clinton, September 2006.
We now know that such a statement makes Bill Clinton an international criminal, worse than Hitler. There's no room in new American "soft power" for people like Bill Clinton these days. Bubba was all about hard power, with an emphasis on the word "hard," to which a certain White House intern (and many others) can attest. But that's a different story.
We no longer allow President's like Bill Clinton to get their hard on. Now we're for limp power, because it's nicer and less threatening. When it comes to interrogating top-level Al Qaeda operatives like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, it's now a national imperative that we salt peter our aggressiveness into submission, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. As our new President has told us, there are other ways to get terrorists to talk. Our new President has banned all harsh interrogation techniques. For your edification, I thought I'd reveal some of the new "soft" interrogation techniques, which will undoubtedly be very effective. Here are the new "effective" techniques, according to a reliable unnamed source who knows someone who's cousin lived next door to Barack Obama's half-sister:
- After a terrorist refuses to divulge an imminent terrorist plot, the interrogator may threaten to "give the terrorist such a pinch." The interrogator may not under any circumstances follow through on the threat, because that would be torture.
- The interrogator may threaten to withhold the terrorist's milk and cookie nighttime snack, though deprivation of an entire meal is disallowed as cruel and unusual.
- The terrorist may be forced to stand on one leg for up to 20 seconds, unless the terrorist doesn't really want to. He may not be physically forced to do it. We're not barbarians, you know.
- The terrorist may be made to listen to an entire Barry Manilow album, but only at a moderate volume.
- The interrogator may appeal to the terrorist's moral sense by asking "what would Jesus do ?," as long as the interrogator also asks "what would Allah, Buddha, Shiva, Moses, and Elron Hubbard do ?," so as not to engage in religious discrimination. The name Mohammed must not be uttered ever by the interrogator, because the interrogator is an infidel.
- The interrogator may apologize for America. This can be done in an unqualified manner.
- The terrorist may be sleep deprived for up to 16 hours, after which he must get his required 8 hours of sleep.
- The interrogator may engage the terrorist in a vigorous game of Fish, and may laugh derisively (but not excessively) after telling the terrorist to "go fish."
- The terrorist's cell temperature may be dropped to 64 degrees Fahrenheit until the terrorist complains that he's getting a little chilly.
- Terrorists may be made to wear a funny hat and/or a Groucho Marx mask for up to one hour on "casual friday" at Guantanamo Bay.
- The interrogator may blow cigar smoke in a terrorist's face for 5 seconds, provided the interrogation is taking place in a designated smoking section outdoors, at least 10 feet from the prison building.
- The interrogator may tell the terrorist his coffee came from Starbuck's, but after the terrorist drinks it, the interrogator may reveal, "Ha ! It's really from McDonald's !"
- While the terrorist is asleep, the interrogator may put shaving cream on the terrorist's hand, and then tickle the terrorist's nose with a feather, causing the terrorist embarassment when he smears shaving cream all over his face in an effort to stop the tickling. This method is to be used only on the very top Al Qaeda operatives, due to the irreparable psychological trauma it might inflict.
- Terrorists may be made to do the Chicken Dance for up to 5 minutes, but only during a wedding reception.
- If all else fails, the interrogator may threaten to reinstall George W. Bush as the American president.
Update - The Obama Office of Legal Counsel has informed me that last technique is banned, because though it might actually work, it will cause undue mental stress for terrorists.
P.S. - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows absolutely nothing about these new interrogation techniques, unless they prove to be politically popular, in which case she had significant input into designing them.