Let me just strap you to this board. Better hand me your coffee before you lie down. Now, if you don’t mind just hold still while I wrap your face in clingwrap so you can’t breath. Comfortable? Now, just relax while I inject some water through the wrap so you can experience the sensation of drowning. We can stop this anytime you want to confess. Of course if we want some conversation before lunchtime we might add some liquid soap. How about a bit of methylated spirits. Don’t misunderstand me. I am your friend and I only want what is best for, ahem, ah, both of us. How does that feel? Ah, you do know Osama’s shoe size. Good man. That is an excellent start.
So the CIA (getting some unusual air time lately) case officer who was privy to the waterboarding (just described) techniques used to supposedly break Abu Zubaida, an al-Qaeda suspect, thinks this sort of behaviour is behind them (the US Government). That “they” are above such crude methods. He says “It was an ugly little episode that was perhaps necessary at that time. But we’ve moved beyond that.”
Give me a break. Who does he think he is kidding? One thing surer than God making little green apples (and he did!) is that these techniques remain the same, and are never lost to the corporation. Why? Because in many cases, as part of a complex breaking down of a suspect, they work. But also because there are those in every security, law enforcement and intelligence culture who just can’t help themselves. Have any number of clean ups and enquiries you like but there will always be the right or wrong person in the right or wrong place who is capable of uncivilised acts of wanton violence – all in the name of the greater good. Or more simply, capable of pure, white hot untrammeled violence in the heat of the moment, which is far more understandable. Though no less reprehensible.
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