Monday, July 02, 2007

Enhanced Interrogation

So, if you pay attention at all you’ve doubtless heard a thing or two about the torture debate going on in this country. If you’ve been too zonked out on mystery flavored Doritos and Paris Hilton’s prison ordeal to notice, here is a quick recap: Right thinking people (by which I mean correct thinking, not conservative) feel that we, The United States of America, should not be torturing or using “enhanced interrogation” techniques on prisoners of war like the ones we are holding in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and an unknown number of clandestine “black site” secret prisons around the globe, and that by doing so we are betraying and debasing the very principles upon which our republic was founded. Conservative hawks, on the other hand, make the compelling rebuttal “Yeah, but what if…”

The “what” following the ellipses is generally the so-called “ticking clock” scenario, which goes something like this “What if we’re holding a terrorist who has knowledge of a WMD that’s about to detonate somewhere inside the United States? Can we torture him to get the information needed to locate and diffuse the weapon?” It’s a smart position to take because it’s so retarded, you can’t really argue with it. If you try to debate it, the scenario starts mutating to encompass any reality check you might impose on it. The ticking clock scenario is really the neo-con equivalent of the poker night hypothetical sex fantasy. You know, like when you’re playing cards with the guys, and they start talking about women they want to fuck, and then somebody says “Well, I’d never cheat on my wife” and another guy pipes up and says “Never? So if Angelina Jolie shows up at your door completely naked, and looking to fuck, you wouldn’t do it?" From there the conversation degrades quickly, usually along these lines:
“No I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t hurt my wife like that.”
“What if your wife would never find out?”
“Of course she would. How could she not find out?”
“You’re out of town. This is at a hotel room.”
“I still have to go home and look her in the eye. I couldn’t do that.”
“What if she’s in a coma.”
“Your wife is in a coma.”
“I don’t know. She was hit by a bus. So do you fuck Angelina Jolie or not?”
“You’re out of town, your wife is in a coma, Angelina Jolie is naked in front of you and wants your dick, nobody else will EVER know. You seriously wouldn’t do it? Come ON!”

The important thing to remember about these exchanges is that they reveal more about the person asking the question than the person answering it. The asker is so insistent because they want to do whatever hypothetical thing they are asking if you would do. They couch it in a language of "well, under specific circumstances, if I really had to, I would fuck Angelina Jolie," but what they're really saying is "I want to fuck Angelina Jolie. I don't care if I'm married or who's watching. I want to fuck the shit out of her." The asker is seeking confirmation that other souls are as black as his. It's the same thing with the neo-cons and their ticking clock scenario. They want to torture the shit out of some people.

Personally, I don’t think we should be torturing (or enhanced interrogating) anybody under any circumstances. It’s wrong. End of story. For once I agree with the Bush administration that some things are a simple matter of black and white. Torture is bad and, if we do it, we are bad people. Period.

As for Angelina, in that scenario I wouldn’t sleep with Angelina Jolie either, because if I sleep with Angelina Jolie I want EVERYBODY to know about it.

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