December 13, 2018


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Terrorists in Bras

by Maggie Van Ostrand


It's a sad state of affairs when the Armed Forces of the United States gets into trouble over prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay. I'm not talking about nasty prisoner abuse like sticking bamboo shoots under the fingernails of the enemy like they did in World War II movies, or branding them on the forehead with the words, "Terrorist Turd," or punching them in the beezer. I'm not even talking about the Geneva Convention where it was decided by smart politicians, or is that an oxymoron, that the enemy may not be whacked upside the head, given a dirty look , or even be referred to behind his back as a bad boy. "Tsk tsk tsk," cluck the politicians who are scared of an ACLU lawsuit, "gotta make nice-nice. After all, we're trying to civilize these people." A pox on that. I'm all for backing off on the abuse and going for the real thing -- torture. Torture is almost universally considered to be an extreme violation of human rights principles and traditions developed since the advent of democracy. Signatories of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions agreed not to torture protected persons. "Protected persons" are defined as enemy civilians and POWs in armed conflicts. Well, who else would rate torture? Signatories of the UN Convention Against Torture agreed to not intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering on anyone to obtain information or a confession, to punish them, or to coerce them or a third person. What's the point of capturing these terrorists -- oops, I mean "alleged" terrorists -- if not to get information from them about what's up next? We haven't been able to find out anything since we signed up. We tied the hands of the CIA, the FBI, and the military -- and not in a sexy, bondage way. Oddly, it is estimated by organizations such as Amnesty International that around 2/3 of countries do not consistently abide by the spirit of such treaties. Right-O, matey. The abuse in question was inflicted by U.S. military upon Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi who tried to enter the U.S. in August of 2001 through Orlando Airport, while Mohamed Atta, ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers, was in the same airport at the same time. Ya think maybe there's a connection?? Well, do ya? al-Qahtani was the one who was turned away. What was the dreadful abuse inflicted upon this suspected terrorist, er, I mean the poor man? It wasn't anything creative like they had in medieval times. It was this -- they forced him to wear a bra. OhmiGod, a bra!!! Even worse, they forced him to dance with another man, then they called him a (gasp!) homosexual, and said that all the other detainees knew it. How humiliating! I'll bet that scared him into spilling his guts. In addition to those two unforgivable and abusive acts was the most dreadful of all -- al-Qahtani's interrogators made him wear a thong on his head. I haven't seen anything like that since my ex had too much to drink at a party. Let's get it over with and go for good, old-fashioned torture from medieval times when they really knew how to obtain information. Let's bring back the rack, the Iron Maiden and the thumbscrew. The rack consisted of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, with a roller at both ends. The victim's feet are manacled to one roller, and the wrists are chained to the other. As the interrogation progresses, a handle and ratchet attached to the top roller is used to very gradually increase the tension on the chains, which induces excruciating pain as the victim's joints slowly dislocate. The Iron Maiden was about 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide. On the outside, the Maiden appeared harmless and unthreatening, yet inside were iron spikes that were designed to torture slowly. The point was to impale the victim and inflict major pain and punishment. The thumbscrew was an instrument of torture which was used notably by the Inquisition. It was a simple vise, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The victim's thumbs or fingers were placed in the vise and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners' toes, while larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to destroy knees and elbows. If the civilized world is serious about learning secret plans of suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, they should listen to women, who know how to torture way better than the Spanish Inquisition. Ask any divorced guy. Forget the bra and the thong. Make him stand all day long on a hard floor with his knees locked wearing size-too-small four-inch heels. If he doesn't give up everything he knows after that, he's probably already dead.

©2013 Maggie Van Ostrand, all rights reserved.

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