If you need a few minutes to compose yourself after being subjected to that horror, feel free to take a break from reading now. Sometimes a cold compress on the forehead is helpful, but don't let it drip or you might end up waterboarding yourself.
The CIA's interrogation techniques couldn't be more ridiculous if they were out of Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch:
Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions! ...
Hmm! She is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fang! Fetch ... THE COMFY CHAIR!
So you think you are strong because you can survive the soft cushions. Well, we shall see. Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair! ...
Now -- you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunchtime, with only a cup of coffee at 11.
Further up the torture ladder -- from Guantanamo, not Monty Python -- comes the "insult slap," which is designed to be virtually painless, but involves the interrogator invading "the individual's personal space."
If that doesn't work, the interrogator shows up the next day wearing the same outfit as the terrorist. (Awkward.)
I will spare you the gruesome details of the CIA's other comical interrogation techniques and leap directly to the penultimate "torture" in their arsenal: the caterpillar.
In this unspeakable brutality, a harmless caterpillar is placed in the terrorist's cell. Justice Department lawyers expressly denied the interrogators' request to trick the terrorist into believing the caterpillar was a "stinging insect."
Human rights groups have variously described being trapped in a cell with a live caterpillar as "brutal," "soul-wrenching" and, of course, "adorable."
If the terrorist manages to survive the non-stinging caterpillar maneuver -- the most fiendish method of torture ever devised by the human mind that didn't involve being forced to watch "The View" -- CIA interrogators had another sadistic trick up their sleeves.
I am not at liberty to divulge the details, except to mention the procedure's terror-inducing name: "the ladybug."
Finally, the most savage interrogation technique at Guantanamo was "waterboarding," which is only slightly rougher than the Comfy Chair.
Thousands of our troops are waterboarded every year as part of their training, but not until it was done to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- mastermind of the 9/11 attack on America -- were liberal consciences shocked.
I think they were mostly shocked because they couldn't figure out how Joey Buttafuoco ended up in Guantanamo.
As non-uniformed combatants, all of the detainees at Guantanamo could have been summarily shot on the battlefield under the Laws of War.
Instead, we gave them comfy chairs, free lawyers, better food than is served in Afghani caves, prayer rugs, recreational activities and top-flight medical care -- including one terrorist who was released, whereupon he rejoined the jihad against America, after being fitted for an expensive artificial leg at Guantanamo, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
Only three terrorists -- who could have been shot -- were waterboarded. This is not nearly as bad as "snowboarding," which is known to cause massive buttocks pain and results in approximately 10 deaths per year.
Normal human beings -- especially those who grew up with my older brother, Jimmy -- can't read the interrogation memos without laughing.
At Al-Jazeera, they don't believe these interrogation memos are for real. Muslims look at them and say: THIS IS ALL THEY'RE DOING? We do that for practice. We do that to our friends.
But The New York Times is populated with people who can't believe they live in a country where people would put a caterpillar in a terrorist's cell.
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