Democratic Underground

Those Secret Torture Prisons: A Modest Proposal

December 13, 2005
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 super-secret CIA prisons around the world, and emphatically insists that torture does not take place at those facilities. If "harsh interrogation methods" are employed there, it's totally without the Administration's knowledge or approval - and within its singularly narrow definition of torture anyway.

Trying to be helpful, I've composed some possible text for a Torture Abroad advertising flyer:

EXCITING OPPORTUNITY!

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, and Morocco). 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 rack, whip & chain teasing, and the employment of rabid dogs - there is a small surcharge 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."

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 with you. 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.)

Please be aware that while we carry out due diligence in certifying our terrorist suspects, in the event that an innocent man or woman was provided you - which does happen on occasion as street sweeps can be fairly random - we assume no financial or criminal liability. We also cannot provide assurance that governments or family members of the prisoner won't try to locate you later for purposes of revenge.

But most red-blooded American citizens won't let those minor caveats stop them from coming to the aid of their country in this time of war. And you can have jolly good fun doing so, and feel patriotic pride in your valuable work for the homeland.

Slots are limited, so act now. For the first hundred who sign up, we will provide a framed, autographed photo of Jeffrey Dahmer.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR BID

As you can see, this proposal is a win-win for all concerned. The war effort gains much needed funding, the capitalist system is promoted, bad guys are punished, ordinary citizens are permitted to participate in important government programs, and the recipients of the carnage no doubt will be adopted by liberal do-gooder groups and nursed back to health. If they make it.

Should you be interested in applying to Torture Abroad, send your name, address, phone number, and a good-faith deposit of $5000 cash, to the address below. A special email address for VIP entry into the program will be forwarded to you - in other words, you won't have to log onto the website's home page, which, as you can imagine, is sure to attract all sorts of low-life thugs.

Mail all inquiries to:

John Ashcroft
Torture Abroad Program Director
Department of Homeland Security
P.O. Box 666
Washington D.C.

Enclose a photo, a brief bio, a key to your home, and your email password.

Thank you from all of us on Torture Abroad's Board of Directors: K. Rove, G. Bush, R. Cheney, D. Rumsfeld, C. Rice, A. Gonzales, L. Libby, J. Ashcroft, S. Hadley, K. Hughes, M. Matalin, J. Bolton, J. Woo, J. Bybee, B. O'Reilly, R. Limbaugh, A. Coulter, J. Inhofe, W. Boykin, G. Miller, S. Cambone, M. Chertoff, and Founding Fathers J. Mengele, A. Eichmann, and T. de Torquemada.

God Bless the United States of America.

Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at various universities, worked as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers. Send comments to crisispapers@comcast.net.

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