Thursday, April 23, 2009

Torture Summit

Bush era torture memos released last week by the Obama White House indicate that American interrogators were excluded from an International Torture Summit for suggesting overly brutal methodologies.

The top-secret memos listed Syria, Iran, North Korea, China, Turkey, Egypt, Venezuela, and Cuba as participants at the 2004 seminar, which focused on sharing breakthroughs in the use of extreme pain to extract confessions and intimidate individuals from actively opposing the government.

Although much of the content is unknown, the memo does list the topics of several seminars.

Iranian torture experts hosted a breakout session titled "Toes, Tongue, Testicles, Nipples, or Anus: The Age-Old Question of Where to Deliver Electroshock."

The most heavily attended talk was presented by the Turkish delegation, on the subject "The problem with castration is you can only do it once."

China hosted a seminar entitled "How to break out teeth without depriving the traitor of the ability to speak their confession."

Other topics included
  • When pliars are better than knives
  • "I'm gonna count to ten": What makes fingers so useful
  • Toes: the other fingers
  • Suspensions: Not what you remember from high school
  • Wife and children: the ultimate leverage for the recalcitrant rebel
  • Weed wackers: Not just for edging your lawn
  • Rules of Thumb: With a blow torch, use chains, not rope
  • Power tools are your friend
A highlight of the summit was a betting pool whose object was to guess how long it would take a Hezbollah torturer to get a suspected Israeli collaborator to betray his companions.

The memo went on to report that a submission from the American CIA was denied for "appalling brutality and inhumanity." The "Executive Summary" for the American briefing indicated that it detailed the use of a caterpillar placed in the cell of an al Qaida terrorist to extract information regarding an imminent attack on airliners flying between London and New York.

Ripples of shock and disbelief spread through the seminar participants when it was revealed that the leaf-eating larva approached within less than a meter of the horrified victim before he provided the information required to avert the attack. A hooded Turkish torturer said, "You've got to draw the line somewhere, and this simply goes too far." Others characterized the technique as "barbaric" and "beyond the pale".

Another participant, speaking on condition of anomymity, said "You've got to think about the exploitation of the caterpillar. The helpless insect has no say in the matter, yet he is forced against his will into complicity in this horrendous act. I'll bet they didn't even use unionized caterpillars. Will he continue to be paid now that his services are no longer required?"

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