Thursday, November 3, 2005

Recently the Vice President has come under fire for attempting to legalize torture for the CIA. While this would certainly make things more convenient for the CIA, who happen to be Definitely Not-torturing prisoners already in a secret network of Definitely Not-gulags, one is inclined to wonder at the moral implications of making torture available to this select clique of the intelligence elite, of essentially setting the Central Intelligence Agency above American, international, and moral law. Upon considering it, we must reject this notion: torture, after all, should be the legal right of everyone.

As an instrument used only on the evil people who utterly deserve it, torture has proved an invaluable and ethical tool in fighting terrorists and witches alike. If anything, America could use more torture: with an overstretched military weary and embattled in the long slog of Iraq, it's clear that the War on Terror needs more torturers on the ground. America's torturers can be lost in the line of duty, too - carpal tunnel from lengthy waterboarding sessions, head injuries from tripping over human pyramids - and if the United States doesn't keep a steady supply of trained torturers to replace these weary heroes, how can it expect to maintain the best and brightest organized rape squads in the world?

It is deeply disappointing then, that Mr. Cheney is willing to allow only the CIA to utilize this vital anti-terror tool. Indeed, given the recent explosion in global terrorist activity, America needs as many torturers as it can get to track down this mysterious new wave of Islamist recruits. Torture shouldn't just be the tool of the CIA or even the armed forces. It should be the legal right - no, the duty - of every American citizen.

It's time to combine the good old-fashioned tradition of American volunteerism with the brand new traditions of forced sleep deprivation and genital electrocution. Fund non-profit torture charities, both secular and faith-based. Support neighborhood watch groups with an eye toward torturing local terrorists. Offer scholarships to college students who pledge to spend four years torturing abroad with the Peace Corps. Parents should get their children involved: bring them to work at the Soviet-era prison camp for a day; teach mandatory waterboarding classes at school. Even more critical than building the torture corps itself is the simple feeling of solidarity that participating in torture generates: an involved America is a strong America.

To some this idea will seem quaint, but defending one's homeland is no idle matter, and America needs every helping hand it can get - as long as that hand is turning a thumbscrew.

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posted by the Medium Lobster at 5:31 PM




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