Sunday, November 11, 2007

Moist Briefing

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

Congratulations on your appointment. I know it got a little bumpy there when you said you weren't familiar with what waterboarding is. There are people who expect a candidate for attorney general to know something about this, as if it had a long and notorious history.

I have a suggestion, now that you are in charge and will be tasked with the solemn duty of covering for the crimes of your administration. (Crimes, that is, with respect to this international law, and you know who answers to international law, don't you? That's right: foreigners! Not us!)

My suggestion is that, to pull focus away from what we are doing, we need to change the name of the technique.

Let it be said that the press is doing its part. They have a way of referring to waterboarding as "simulated drowning." Well, I love that. Between you and me, Mr. AG, we both know that waterboarding is DROWNING, and there is nothing simulated about it. Just because we're not holding their heads under a lake, or throwing them off a pier wearing cement overshoes, doesn't mean we're not drowning people. Introducing water into people's nasal passages and throat, so as to block oxygen and force them to choke - that's drowning.

Trouble is, word is getting out. Folks are beginning to realize, wait a minute, we are drowning people. And they're asking the usual bleeding-heart questions. So we've got to smokescreen, and call it something else entirely.

My suggestion: we call it moist briefing. How about that? It will take them at least to the end of Bush's term for them to figure out what that is! It sounds almost pleasant. It's not torture, and it's not even interrogation; it doesn't even sound coerced. These nice folk we captured several years ago and have held in captivity cut off from any contact with the world, in the harshest possible conditions, are briefing us just on the off-chance that they still have any relevant information (or that they ever did).

From this day forth, erase "waterboarding" from the lexicon - even from classified materials. Call it moist briefing from this day forward, and you and the President have legal deniability even if the snoopy press does catch on before the next inauguration.

I ask for no reward. I'm a simple man, just trying to help my country break free from the Constitutional and moral shackles that bind my President.

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