Collect 'em All!

An exclusive rush transcript of a White House ethics course
Allan Uthman

From Russia with Rage
Mark Ames promotes new book
Paul Jones

It’s amazing what a person can accomplish with a few proper restraints, a wet cloth and steadily dripping water.
Ian Murphy

The BEAST's simian scribe gives us a heart to heart conversation about drugs

Pandemic Of Fear
Bird Flu is not a food-borne illness; so far the only people who have contracted it live or work (in Asia) with live chickens.  So why the uproar?
Kit Smith

What are we thankful for?

Today's topic: Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court

Reader Opinions
Our distinguished readers weigh in on current events

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson last week stepped down from his seat on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s board of directors.
Jeff Dean

Interview With A Charred Corpse
The BEAST chats with the seared remains of a 2004 napalm attack  on Fallujah

The 20 FUNNIEST THINGS about Pastor Joel Osteen Going To Heaven
by N. Sorrenti

Classic Hammer Rings Untrue For Today's Early Teens

Sheer Idiocy Scores Victory Over Evolution

THIS ISSUE: Derailed, Pride And Prejudice, Jarhead, Chicken Little, and more!

Losman to the rescue... and Yoda too!

by Andrew Gullerstein


The BEAST answers your letters

Idiot Box

Perry Bible Fellowship


by Ian Murphy

It’s amazing what a person can accomplish with a few proper restraints, a wet cloth and steadily dripping water; you can make almost anyone say, or confess to, absolutely anything! The trick is to keep the cloth over the detainee’s nose and mouth and slowly drip water on the cloth, giving your prisoner the sensation of drowning. Another fun one is to lead your prisoner to a freshly dug grave and beat him fucking senseless, all the while taunting him with the foreboding, empty burial pit. Oh, and let’s not forget about humiliation, vicious German Shepherds and good old-fashioned stress positions. Simply apply one or any number of these techniques to a suspect, and you can have whatever type of info you want: truth, fallacy, secret family recipes, fabricated al Qaeda ties to Iraq, whatever! People are such pussies – even John McCain.

 To quote McCain: “I was tortured in Vietnam, I’m a cry baby, wah, wah, wah, and we shouldn’t torture people because I’m a little pussy!” Senator McCain, you may believe yourself to be a stalwart, but the ‘Nam is over – can we move on, sir? If you ask this author, McCain’s miserable mewling smacks of sour grapes. Senator, you need to crawl out of the 4x4 bamboo cage of PC thuggery in your mind and enter the reality of a post-9/11 world. Bad people are after us, and we must do even badder things to them in order to glean yet even more badder intelligence!

Thank goodness someone has the meatnormous doorknockers necessary to pull the senate aside and try to abate this fad of weakness and willy-nilly antipatriotic pacifism. Dick Cheney, a man that history will judge as one of the most powerful presidents in history, was just the guy for the job. Last week Cheney to gain exemption for the CIA in the matter of a shortsighted proposal by McCain banning the torture of prisoners captured on the global battle field in the war on terrorism.

Cheney has long been poking his sharp, pointy fingers in the eye of America’s conversations pertaining to extreme interrogation. As council to the Vice president, David Addington, one of the men chosen to replace I. Lewis Libby as Cheney’s chief of staff, was most notorious for his hand in creating military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay and lending his legal expertise in the administration’s honorable attempt at hurdling the Geneva Convention of 1949. The New York Times called Addington “one of the most important architects of the administration’s legal strategy against foreign terrorism.” Even John Ashcroft went so far as to call Addington’s ideas on the imprisonment and trial of enemy combatants “draconian.” That’s quite the compliment, coming from Ashcroft.

Cheney’s office had a pivotal role in the now infamous Justice Department memo, which stated torturing suspected terrorists “may be justified.” According to The Washington Post, Addington, under the direction of Cheney, was the most outstanding proponent of the “commander-in-chief” paragraphs, boldly declaring that any law barring torture “does not apply to the President’s detention and interrogation of enemy combatants.” According to The New Republic, in a different memo, written by Addington under the pen name Alberto Gonzales, he argued the Geneva Convention was obsolete and shouldn’t be viewed as a must for American policy.

Team Cheney, in its quest for furthering executive power at any cost, sprang into action as early as 2001, when the capture of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a high ranking al Qaeda member in Pakistan, sparked the debate between the FBI, CIA and the Justice Department about the use of, and which agency should administer “enhanced interrogation methods” for terrorist suspects. A June, 2004 Newsweek story recalls the events of late 2001:

Al-Libi was handed over to the CIA. “They duct-taped his mouth, cinched him up and sent him to Cairo” for more-fearsome Egyptian interrogations, says the ex-FBI official. “At the airport the CIA case officer goes up to him and says, ‘You’re going to Cairo, you know. Before you get there I’m going to find your mother and I’m going to f--- her.’ So we lost that fight.”

So clearly, fucking mothers, water boarding, mock burials and any other forms of playing patty-cake with prisoners was delegated to the CIA, and our bold visionary of a veep would like to keep it that way, even if it means standing up to traumatized tyrants like John McCain.

After all, Al-Libi’s interrogation provided the administration with key intelligence, and aided in luring the nation into developing true (so to speak) concern over the lack of freedom in Iraq. The assertions made by Al-Libi were repeatedly cited by the administration in the run-up to the war. Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and countless pundits used this newfound intelligence to inform the American public about Saddam Hussein’s purported link with al Qaeda. In an October, 2002 speech, President Bush said that “we’ve learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases.” Then Secretary of State Colin Powell heavily relied on Al-Libi’s accounts for his speech to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, saying that he followed “the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al Qaeda.”

Now the quintessential liberal media outlet, The New York Times, tells us in a recent story that ties the administration had been claiming between al Qaeda and Iraq had been discredited months before by a Feb, 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency document. The DIA report offers says that Al Libi “was intentionally misleading the debriefers” and “Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.” In fact, by mid-2004 Al-Libi had personally recanted his previous story. This reporter fails to see the problem, or “abhorrent dishonesty” in the actions of the administration, and feels The Times and their ilk should go pound salt, or some other earth mineral.

From the handling of Al-Libi and his subsequent admissions, it is now clear that without unorthodox or “violent” forms of interrogation to help justify military actions, we would still be collectively twiddling our thumbs and waiting for Saddam Hussein to die, or secretly bribing Iran to invade. Thank God that these bold, aggressive techniques were envisioned years before by members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

At the pacemaker-regulated heart of the debate on torture is not whether it is “ethical” or “moral,” but whether the practice will help or hinder our pursuit of complete global dominance. When the likes of Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, among others, authored and signed a “Statement of Principles” for PNAC in June of 1997, they didn’t choose the easy path. When they asked the question, “Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?” they knew that the road ahead might well be bumpy and torture-filled.

The question remains unanswered. Does America have the resolve to ignore international criticism, its own conscience and even its own Constitution, which states in article 4 that “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land?” This author believes that we do, and if the (vice) President gets his way, all Americans will eventually see it this way. All it takes a little arm twisting, and perhaps showing a certain Arizona senator back to his old room at Chez Bamboo Sweat Box. Because when it comes right down to it, people are weak. They’ll say whatever you want them to, with the proper motivation.


Ian Murphy, normally a champion of justice and reason, wrote the above article at the request of several hooded, unidentified men who kept Murphy in an old refrigerator for days, opening the door only to poke him with a sharpened stick.









© Copyright 2002-2005, The Beast. All rights reserved.