Emmett Tyrrell

What kinds of questions will the members of the Red Cross delegation ask the detainees? After reading Taranto's report I would suggest this one: "What do you get when you mix feces with urine and soapy water?" The answer is a slick floor that will assist you in ambushing unsuspecting American jailers rushing into a cellblock to save a detainee from suicide. The detainees are regularly receiving medical and dental attention and psychiatric evaluations. One might ask them if they deem such services a profanation of their religious beliefs. Certainly the presence of Western psychiatrists could be construed as humiliating to these proud savages, if not an outright insult to their mullahs.

Reportedly, one of the 14 terrorists from those secret CIA hoosegows with whom the Red Cross will confer is Khalid Sheik Mohammed, reputedly the mastermind of the 9/11 atrocities. He apparently has had a rough time. He allegedly underwent what is called "aggressive interrogation." That includes such exactions as sleep deprivation, exposure to temperature extremes and exposure to loud rock and roll. It could have been worse. He could have been exposed to loud performances of Mozart's 41st Symphony or Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. He might even like rock and roll.

One form of aggressive interrogation that he apparently did not like was "waterboarding." The delegation from the Red Cross will want to ask him if was "waterboarding" that made him crack and divulge the names of other killers. Water boarding is not to be confused with skateboarding, which is infinitely more dangerous, causing sprained ankles and broken bones. But waterboarding is apparently now being ruled out even by our government as a form of interrogation.

Perhaps our government will replace waterboarding with skateboarding so long as it does not cause discomfort to captured terrorists. After all American teenagers engage in it freely; and the Sheik, or whatever he is called, might actually enjoy skateboarding. Surely members of this Red Cross delegation will want to leave Guantanamo a nicer place than when they arrived. Improving the camp's recreational facilities would be a start. Being able to point to a camp where detainees skateboard gaily through loops and over barrels, their baseball hats turned backward, wind whistling past them, would be an achievement of which the Red Cross could be proud.

If all of the above sounds absurd, well, it is. So is the question of how we have been handling these monstrous enemy combatants. They have no sense of honor or restraint and would use any available instrument to kill us, the greater the toll the better. If aggressive interrogation has prevented further 9/11s, no practice thus far revealed is beyond the pale.

The detainees at Guantanamo represent the steady approach of barbarism. Stop it now.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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