Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Art of Virtual Torture

Dystopian Notion 1 - The Logic of Torture

Donald Rumsfeld - I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?

* * *

There are a new brand of interrogators that are working for the government. Now that all interrogations are downloadable video on the internet, the old methods such as waterboarding, or the slow dripping faucet over the forehead, or the pit and the pendulum can no longer be utilized. Today's interrogators harness techniques more akin to the illusionists and conjuring acts we all remember from childhood.

The notion is that if no harm is actually done, only the virtual appearance of injury and harm, then no actual torture has occurred.

* * *

He offered to show me a magic trick. I accepted. He produced a butterfly.

In his left hand one of its delicate legs was caught between the man's fingers

The colorful wing gently testing the air

In his right hand were a pair of scissors.

"Are you a shy girl?"


"Are you a conservative girl?"

"I think so"

"Are you the kind of girl who might confess secrets to perfect strangers?"

"What kind of secrets?"

"Intimate secrets"

"I don't know. Probably not."

"Shall we see?"

I shrugged

He held the scissors over one of the monarch's wings.

"I am going to cut this butterfly repeatedly until you confess to me...whether or not you shave your p.bic hair"

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