Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We don't have time! You're just going to have to trust me!

So Mark Danner is all up in arms about US torture. I've been thinking a lot about torture lately as it's a really entertaining part of my weekly TV viewing. Whether it's Jack Bauer holding a stun gun to some one's neck, Sayid having fun with a pair of pliers or Admiral Adama flushing someone out an airlock, it all adds up to exciting times. So what's Danner's beef? Oh right. Human rights. Geneva convention. Seems so quaint, doesn't it? Remember when our foes had nice discernible armies and their tendency to want to commit genocide made them the guys you loved to hate? Ah the good old days...

To further blur things, I started to think about things I consider torture. I consider being put in prison pretty torturous. Other forms of light torture include being behind someone driving 50 in the fast lane and having neighbors walk their dogs in front of your house and not pick up after their pets. Oddly my dog likes the smell of these presents, though she seems to hate her own when it's bagged up and in danger of getting near her. Some might consider being forced to eat a pulled pork sandwich torture, yet I consider it one of god's greatest gifts. Being put in a pile of naked men would make me tell the location of a bomb even if I didn't know where it was, but I have friends who go to clubs to freely engage in such behavior for fun. Having buildings that were a part of my world destroyed for no reason by airliners sent me into torturous panic attacks for quite some time and I didn't even lose anyone I knew in the attacks. Other people thought these attacks were a fun good idea.

So if torture is so subjective how do you define it? I guess when I'm king I'm going to have to define it case by case. Like if we found a child's body buried in your back yard and the kid across the street is missing and there's bits of his hair in your house, I think a great idea to pull out the dental instruments and have at it. I'm going to say they'll like it because I know people who do like similar stuff. They pay to go into crazy clubs where all sorts of shenanigans go on! How can something be considered torture if perfectly reasonable people like it? OK, in my version you might end up missing bits and you won't be dressed in black vinyl, but it's all good!

Then there are those who ask, "What if the information you get from the child killer isn't good?" I don't really care. I hope it's good, but in the end I want to create some information of my own. That information is pretty simple. Fuck with my kingdom and the people in it and the gloves will come off. It will happen in broad daylight. Now, I'm not talking about situations where "We suspect" a person did it. Of course all of those situations will have actual investigations and will play out more like an episode of Law and Order. I'm talking about those special times when you're caught red handed and getting a little extra info out of you will actually serve to save lives.

Now, about what happens in war situations? I think we're really ignorant to think that torture ever stopped because of some treaty. I think it's going on right now and will continue. I hear people say it doesn't yield usable info... but then why are they still doing it? It can't be all that fun... could it? I think that no matter what Obama tells his generals and what the generals tell the people below them, if it seems necessary they're just going to do it. Think about this. A guy is seen running away from a car. He's caught. The car explodes blowing your friend's legs off. What happens next? A civil conversation with the guy and his legal council? We're just forcing them to keep it deeper in the dark, that's all. I'd love to believe we'd never do it, but as long as people do fucked up things, other people will step up and do fucked up things back.

I think the U.S. is having a nice time pretending this is behind us, but when I'm king I'll always have Jack Bauer's phone number in my back pocket for when the shit hits the fan. I won't be able to tell you why because we won't have the time and you're just going to have to trust him.

(note: I would never have started a conflict in Iraq and instead I would have spent every dime on funding Compressed Natural Gas, Nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and other OPEC fuel alternatives.)

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