Daily Show: In torture we trust

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

America is a simple country, governed by simple rules. In fact, the simpler the better. For example: "We don't torture." Three words that aren't said enough. Three words that symbolize America, like "I love you" or "Where's the beef?"

It's totally clear. No matter how bad it gets, no matter how ruthless our enemies, we don't torture.

Whether or not that statement is true isn't the point.

But of course, none of that makes any difference to the "Yes we can," McChange A. Hope crowd. As MSNBC's Chris Matthews reported, President Obama's staff recently released Bush administration memos "laying out their handbook for torture."

Oh, great! So instead of just enjoying the fact that we don't torture, we're going to have to sit though a list of the things we do do in a blatant attempt to hurt our brains.

Apparently the torture methods used included waterboarding, confining suspects in a cramped box with insects, sleep deprivation, shackling, facial slaps, nudity and something called walling ("slamming detainees against a false wall, provided they wore a collar to minimize whiplash").

Also, specifically, one Al Qaeda detainee was waterboarded 183 times in a month. (And here's the worst part - 185 waterboardings, and you get a free Crazy Bread. It's bread with LSD in it. It actually drives you crazy.)

Do you really have to waterboard somebody 183 times? Doesn't the efficacy go down at some point? I assume after 90 waterboardings, the guy's thinking, "You're not really drowning me, are you?"

So, how did Americans react to the fact that their government tortures?

"I think America is less safe because of the release of these memos," said Nevada Sen. John Ensign.

To be clear, apparently everyone's not upset about the fact that we torture, they're upset about the fact that we now know about it. Seriously, how does releasing the memos hurt us?

"All these techniques have now been ruined," explained Karl Rove.

Ruined! Are you happy now, Obama? You've upset Karl.

Are these torture techniques like magic tricks? Once you know how the tiger disappears, the show is ruined? Waterboarding still sucks, even if you know it's coming.

Bush-era CIA chief Michael Hayden defended the use of these tactics, even against subjects who had apparently already told us everything they knew. "He was slammed against a false, flexible wall with something wrapped around his neck so that he would not be injured," he said.

And, in all fairness to us, if I may - the water we used for waterboarding was tepid and pH-balanced. The stress-position shackles were always the fuzzy kind you get at Spencer's. We're not animals.

Hey, but now at least we know that we tortured. Heads are gonna roll, right?

You would think. President Obama, however, has said nobody will be prosecuted for having participated in these interrogation techniques.

That's right - nobody is going to get in trouble. Hey, we know you tortured, but at least when we confronted you about it, you lied. And that's the important part. You did the right thing.

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