Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Monday, December 19, 2016
The Final Solution: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
"Donald Trump Faces Obstacles to Resuming Waterboarding" (NYT, 11/28/16) ran The Times headline. But at least there’s a plan. While Obamacare is
being dismantled, new tortures will rise like the Phoenix from its ashes.
Imagine a federally funded MD/Phd program where medical students can intern at
secret CIA sites. Imagine the seesaws in playgrounds becoming the sites of
interrogations. All you need is a bucket. And what about that torture that was
popular in Tunisia, where they truss the subject up on a spit. All those
dollars wasted on health insurance will be freed up for future torture
institutes where graduate students can bone up on techniques that have been
used from medieval times to the present. Testicle crushers, iron maidens,
guillotines, racks, even crucifixion may find its place in the hunt for
terrorist subjects. In a CNN piece, “Donald Trump Defends Torture: ‘Nothing should be taken off the table,” (CNN, 2/16/16), an op-ed piece that Trump wrote for USA Today was quoted thusly:“Though the effectiveness of many of these
methods may be in dispute, nothing should be taken off the table when American
lives are at stake. The enemy is cutting off the heads of Christians and
drowning them in cages, and yet we are too politically correct to respond in
kind.”Trump famously said that Mexicans
were going to pay for the wall. By a similar logic perhaps he will get
terrorist organizations like ISIS to pay for the use of enhanced interrogation
techniques that will finally force their followers to spill the beans.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.