|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|Doing Torture Right
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? Send a letter to the editor.|
|Standing naked in front of a female interrogator in a bra with a thong for a hat? Led around a room on a leash and forced to perform stupid dog tricks? Deprived of sleep, subjected to cold, having female relations insulted? According to Bob Woodward in the Washington Post, that's what the Bush administration did to Mohammed al-Qahtani, the Saudi accused of being the 20th 9/11 hijacker. There's no evidence Bush's torturers got any useful information from al-Qahtani, though apparently the mistreatment almost killed him. But honestly, is this the best they could do?
Because many men don't consider wearing female underwear torture. Quite the reverse. Video game testers go without sleep for weeks. New Englanders are subjected to killing cold for months on end. And insulting female relations? Please. Bertie Wooster spent dozens of books abusing his own aunts, and it was merely funny. No wonder they got nothing out of al-Qahtani. If this was their idea of torture, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were as incompetent in that arena as in every other.
A child of five could have done better. Forget about hot pincers and the rack. If they'd forced al-Qahtani to watch Barney videos 24/7 he'd have cracked in an hour. If they'd read aloud to him from the works of Anne Coulter or Bill Kristol, in relays without cease, he'd have spilled the beans in a jiffy. Compelling him to watch Bill O'Reilly on an endless loop or the collected speeches of George W. Bush would have been just as expeditious. Had they fed him the Morgan County Jailhouse diet, used by Alabama sheriff Greg Bartlett to starve his inmates, he'd have sung like a canary after one meal. If they really wanted to get nasty they could have played Bon Jovi to him without pause. Al-Qahtani would have been Al-I-Can-Tell-You in no time.
The torture of al-Qahtani wasn't just a national disgrace and a permanent stain on the U.S. character. It was more than a repudiation of every standard of morality and decency. It went beyond the jettisoning of the rule of law. The treatment of al-Qahtani was a total failure of the imagination. The lesson for the Obama administration: If you want to get more out of your detainees, fire the torturers and fire up the TV set, bring on the neocon reading matter, dish up those stale PBJs, and set the stereo volume on high.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2008
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A NOTE TO READERS ***Update***
Another three week plus hiatus, from April 30th until May 23rd, again due to Yahoo Geocities dismal service.
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
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