Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'Hannity: My Money Where Your Mouth Is' by Keith Olbermann: Update 3

Ironically enough, I had just finished creating this particular design and still had the quote on my clipboard, when I saw a link from Josh to this story in my digg shouts.


'Hannity: My Money Where Your Mouth Is' by Keith Olbermann

[Sean Hannity's] offer the other night to Chuck Grodin to 'prove' that waterboarding isn't torture by allowing it to be done to him, is too important to pass up, because of the image it will certainly produce. No matter what he says afterwards or how he tries to laugh it off, Hannity's certitude will be smashed by Hannity's natural, human panic.
And then Keith raises the ante. There are several conditions, to keep Hannity honest - but here's the nub of it.

I will donate $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for every second of water-boarding Hannity endures. We will start the clock the moment the first water is poured on him. The clock will stop when Hannity confesses or begins to shout or scream on a prolonged basis, or the medical supervisor determines he is danger of organ failure.

If Hannity admits afterwards he was afraid for his life and that waterboarding is indeed torture, I will double my total contribution.
And I will repeat this offer each night on Countdown until he agrees or declines.



Waterboarding; one of the favorites of interrogators, since it leaves no evidence. Keith, allow me to offer several refinements.

First, he must be restrained; otherwise the experience is not authentic. Pallet wrap is a superior choice, because it's simple to use and leaves no ligature marks that might indicate abuse to Red Cross inspectors. If the subject is largely encased, it adds thermal stress, as well as creating an intense sensation of helplessness.

Further - as any interrogator trained at the School of the Americas could tell you - water is one of a variety of choices. One can intensify the experience simply by using your choice of fresh or stale urine, for example. But one of the true classics is, oddly enough, Coke. (Preferred over Pepsi due to it's higher concentration of phosphoric acid.)

The technique is simple. Take a nice cold can of Coke. Shake hard, and crack open under the subject's nose, just after having suffocated them for a few moments, so they are inhaling.

Laugh heartily at their distress, repeat ad libidum. Feel free to try it for yourself. Properly done, it's no more dangerous than ordinary nasal irrigation. (Of course, you should irrigate with clean water afterward, there is a risk of yeast infection.)

Meanwhile, in Europe; people of conscience are shocked enough that they are willing to begin procedures to bring to dock those who ordered, excused, and performed such barberic acts.

European officials and lawyers seek to criminalize former US officials over torture charges amid the reluctance of President Barack Obama.

A number of European authorities and human rights groups have expressed dissatisfaction with Obama's failure to press charges against ex-CIA authorities who sanctioned or administered the so-called 'enhanced interrogation methods' to terror suspects, saying that they will make an effort to delve into the torture case under a "universal jurisdiction" code.

Civil rights campaigners say the legal code adopted by some EU countries, authorizes lawyers across the globe to file lawsuits against war criminals, perpetrators of genocides and other human rights offenses, regardless of their country of residence.

In Spain and Germany, lawyers and social liberties activists have brought charges in domestic courts against former US authorities including the ex-defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

I encourage Canada to join the chorus. Some things must not stand.

UPDATE: The Dark Wraith has a few ideas to add to the authenticity of the experience:

To Sean Hannity: Contact me, son. I know a waterboarding method that will rock your world. Let me do that one to you.

Yes, you're going to be stripped naked, and then mocked and otherwise humiliated; but that's not the worst of it, junior: you don't get a blindfold. That's what makes this waterboarding technique so cool. You, yourself, get to watch the action. Some people have said they actually see themselves while it's happening.

Ten seconds in; then I pull you, ask you a question you will most definitely not want to answer on national TV, and if you don't tell me what I want to hear, you get 10 more seconds.

I promise, that first 10 seconds will be the longest of your miserable life. The second 10 seconds will make the first 10 seem like a walk in the park. We'll let the viewing audience do a call-in vote on when we stop if you haven't already cracked on one of the first two pulls. Most definitely, you're not the one who decides the parameters of this game. You have to be powerless, just like the detainees to whom we do these things. Maybe even if you tell me what I want, I'll tell you you're a liar and keep at it. That's how it works with state-sponsored violence.

When we're done, I'll share with you something really important. Even though you might be shaking, even though you might be blubbering like a baby, even though you might be soiling yourself, I'll tell you the big news, and I'll say it like this, right in your ear, just the way the drill sergeants used to tell it to all the boot camp trainees to tear them down so they'd die on command like so many pack animals:

"You, Sean Hannity, ain't nuthin' but a pussy."
UPDATE: for those interested in learning about the International Criminal Court and the possibility of prosecutions under international law, After Downing Street has a suggestion, and some observations you should read for yourself.

One of the best books published in Canada last year is one of the best books published in the United States thus far this year: "The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice," by Erna Paris.
UPDATE: Over at dKos, there's a fundraiser and some thoughtful insights to be found amid the sound and fury. I don't usually go there - their infrastructure and my computer do not get along at all well - but for some reason, this has become a partisan issue. I find that truly amazing - to the extent that I may actually dust off my diary account there and post to that effect.

Some helpful soul regisered a domain - waterboardinghannity.com - for the information and enlightenment of Sean Hannity, featuring several informational videos.

Meanwhile, it occurred to me that if one looks to television to excuse and justify torture (Jack Baur, 24), one can easily find television that makes the opposite case with equal or greater power.

I give you a scene from "La Femme Nikita."


The use of rats is a classic, based on the same principles as the actually authorized technique of placing "stinging insects" into contact with the "subject." I assure you, the only fiction herein are the charactors and dialogue - and perhaps the use of an EEG.

Most professionals find that involuntary cues - struggling, screaming and voiding - more than sufficient to their needs.

There is - or should have been - a solid, ethical, moral foundation for saying something like this to the American people:

"War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, 'I was just following orders'." --GW Bush

But, as he said it in 2003, we may be a tad skeptical. The timeline argues that it's only a "war crime" if the prosecution for "war crimes" is simply another way of separating the "winners" from the "lusers." In other words, just like waterboarding and the whole "Gitmo" experience.

Update - Still nothing from Hannity - the amusement continues here..


2 comments:

kerem said...

I dislike Sean Hannity as much as the next guy, but The Dark Wraith's comments are more than a little creepy. No thanks.

Bob King said...

kerem, he's an economist and an educator. What could you expect?

More seriously, that's is precisely the point. "Creepy" is inherent in the process. At the minimum.

But I'm sure DW has the essentials correct.

If it doesn't creep the fuck out of you just hearing about it, it's not torture.

Fava beans?

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