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Those Secret Torture-Prisons: A Modest Proposal

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By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

I am always open to innovative ways of raising money for cash-strapped governments, as long as it doesn't cost me anything extra. Many states, for example, sponsor lotteries; nobody is forced to buy in, but millions of citizens purchase tickets that help underwrite our schools and road-repairs.

In that light, I have a modest proposal for the Bush Administration: Auction off torture rights.

Here's how it would work. The Bush Administration, either through eBay or by establishing a website all its own (>> torturersRus.gov <<), would let citizens bid for the right to brutalize a terrorist suspect in one of the secret CIA prisons around the globe.

The Torture Abroad program would be aimed at those who, for a price, might delight in exercising their dominance and control of dangerous, inferior beings. (Note: This project is NOT to be confused with the similarly-named Torture A Broad program.)

For purposes of full disclosure, it's essential to note that the Bush Administration denies having supersecret CIA prisons around the world, and emphatically insists that torture does not take place at those facilities. If "harsh interrogation methods" are employed at the non-existent prisons, it's totally without the Administration's knowledge or approval.


A MARKETING FLYER

Trying to be helpful, I've composed some possible text for a Torture Abroad advertising flyer:
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>>Want to do something to aid your country's battle against terrorists, and to participate in frat-style pranks and good, clean aerobic fun at the same time?

>>Then consider sending in your bid to become a member of Torture Abroad. Remember, high bidders have more chance to be selected.

>>Wearing our handsome black mask and windbreaker -- with the eye-catching Volunteer Torturer Militia seal -- you'll be flown free on one of the CIA's luxury secret airflights with, of course, stopover privileges in Poland, Romania, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Morocco, et al. Naturally, you'll be in First Class, and your assigned torture-buddy, appropriately enough, will be in Cargo.

>>You will be permitted to indulge in sexual humiliation, stress positioning, rape, thumb-screws, pyramid-building, baseball bat-play, use of the wrack, whip&chain teasing, the employment of rabid dogs, and so on, but you'll have to pay a bit extra for the privilege of near-drowning (our popular "waterboarding" option) and for the awesome electrification-of-the-genitals display.

>>We realize, based on our polling data, that some people will be repulsed by this suggestion. Granted, the idea of having to pay this extra fee is offensive, but the whole idea of this enterprise, let us remember, is to raise money to help subsidize our country's vital "war on terror."
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>>Note: If you torture a detainee to death, which has been known to happen even with professionals in charge, there will be a hefty surcharge and you will suffer severe penalties: You will NOT receive the video of your handiwork or the program's parchment certificate signed by Karl Rove Himself.

>>All torture implements will be provided but if you have certain activities that cannot be accommodated by government-issue, you will be permitted to bring your own props. No chain-saws, please. We do not want to give even the slightest appearance of savagery.

>>If perchance, as a result of your time spent together, your detainee chooses to confess to something or other, you will be granted a 10% refund. If the confession actually contains anything remotely resembling the truth, you will be gifted another prisoner at no extra charge. (Note: This rarely happens.)

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www.crisispapers.org
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (more...)
 

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