Part 3 in a series about torture
“The guard [was] throwing me into the wall while screaming questions. Then [he] starts throwing me into the railroad tie that the sheet metal is attached to … my head snaps back and connects with the wooden railroad tie. Everything went dark and my knees buckled.”
— Ben Unkefer, SERE graduate.
The “wall” is essentially a large piece of slackened corrugated sheet metal supported on either side by a pair of upright railroad ties. The “wall” has the same essential flexibility as a chain link fence. The “wall” just makes a loud bang when you’re slammed into it. It’s supposed to scare you without causing any serious physical damage.
Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was “walled” yet he was fitted with a padded cervical collar to prevent any potential whiplash/head injuries. If the subjective point of “torture” is about injuring someone, what’s the purpose of preventative measures against injury? Please note that U.S. serviceman Ben Unkefer was subjected to a knock out blow without a single human rights activist mewling on his behalf.
Personally, I got “walled” by a guard at SERE school. He looked like a gargantuan embodiment of the Nordic god, Thor. Actually, this dude was so big that he seemed like two Thors stapled together to make one really big Thor! His biceps were so big that they had their own zip code. His forehead was large enough to blot out the sun. His hands were the size of Obama’s ego! This guard whirled me around his head like a wet dish rag and then keystroked me into the wall like he was drumming his fingers on a tabletop all the while screaming questions in my face.
Ha! He didn’t scare me. I survived Catholic school.
Waterboarding gets all the glamour these days. It’s strikingly funny to me, no pun intended, to watch opportunistic liberals who rabidly rail against any-and-everything that is even remotely connected with the “C-word” (conservative) yet now seem compelled to participate in fulsome frottage with politically convenient conservatives over enhanced interrogation techniques.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition.”
Speaking of hypocrisy, take the alleged waterboarding of conservative radio shock jock Erich “Mancow” Muller and his newfound conversion that waterboarding is torture. Is it an inconvenient truth that the Mancow charade was cooked up with the help of Jerry Springer’s personal publicist to fluff Muller’s sagging ratings? Of course, nothing synonymously spews “journalistic integrity” like the name “Jerry Springer,” eh?
Other more ethical arguments address the “good guys/bad guys” scenario of taking the moral high ground against the “bad guys” even if it hobbles the “good guys” efforts to promote the security of the greater society.
My contrarian nature replies that “good guy” Christendom launched the Crusades to answer the Islamic “bad guy” jihad in the Holy Land. The Crusades lasted for approximately 200 years until 1291 and, as a result, we didn’t hear a squeak about “jihad” for nearly 800 years thereafter. If that first jihad had succeeded, folks, you would not now have iPhones, beer or “Dancing with the Stars.”
How to deal with radical jihadi terrorism? Allow me to quote a famous Muslim’s phrase, “By any means necessary.” Please contrast this with Mr. Obama’s current foreign policy palliative of “Speak softly and carry a functioning teleprompter.”
In another salient example, the British empire took approximately 25 years to end the “Golden Age of Piracy” during the 17th to 18th centuries. This was not a Johnny Depp movie, shipmates. It was an ugly, mean, draconian war against non-state actors who owed no allegiance to any country let alone to the nebulous notion of “human rights.”
Please notice that there was a distinct downturn in the buccaneer industry after the stimulating interjection of British “find a pirate, hang a pirate” jurisprudence. And the British empire seemed wholly unconcerned and lost little sleep about looking good to the neighbors during the whole bloody affair. Further note that we didn’t hear much “yo-ho-ho”-ing out of pirates for about 250 years afterwards.
Is there really much of a difference between a pirate of the 18th century and a modern-day terrorist?
Time magazine recently published a long windy article on the interrogatory strategy of proffering cookies to terrorists to elicit their cooperation and bonhomie. OK, let me get this straight, if baked confections are the supposed key to softening the hearts and minds of radical jihadi extremists then is Time magazine inferring that 9/11 would not have therefore occurred had only a winsome stewardess offered the hijackers a bag of double-stuffed Oreos?
Will the president now nominate Mrs. Fields as our new interrogation czar? Will Betty Crocker and Famous Amos be named to the Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff? Can we expect surge brigades of Keebler Elves to paratroop into Afghanistan and mollify moderate Talibanis with pecan sandies? Does it go well with “hopey-changey” flavored Kool-Aid?
I say we should just give the terrorists the Vienna finger.
Steve Breen is stumping for Cheney/Gringrich 2012 and is still the “best looking mailman in the U.S. Post Office.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.