Category Archives: terrorist

REACT: Club Gitmo to close as part of Obama austerity policy

I see where President-elect Barack Obama promises to close one of the more fashionable Caribbean spas. I am speaking of Club Gitmo, the terrorist vacation facility on the tropical shores of Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. Where these guests of the United States government will go next is yet unknown, but most likely they will be placed into the hands of some foreign government host – one more in keeping with the hospitality traditions of their homeland.

Like any luxury spa, Club Gitmo is a full service resort, featuring life-style counselors, recreational activities, room service, free medical coverage, gourmet meals (at least compared to what they received back home), religious services, and excellent security. Rooms (right) are designed in the minimalist style that is all the rage these days.

Some complained of the fraternity-like hazing practices, which even at the best campuses always seem to involve some level of nudity, and the more robust health club activities, such as water boarding and sleep(less) therapy. Still, these were pretty tame compared to similar places in other parts of the world.

I am sure once these mass murders are relocated to other facilities in their native lands, they will long for the days of leisure at Club Gitmo. The new accommodations are not likely to be as commodious, nor the service as polite.

It would be interesting to see how they are doing in a year or so, but as so often is the case, one loses contact with such old friends. In all probability, some will never be heard from again.

OBSERVATION: Protect the right to be tortured

I have been giving more thought to all this talk about torture. I don’t get it. I sort of see torture as something people engage in voluntarily. Maybe those who are tortured are masochists of a sort. They not only choose to be tortured, they have a lot of influence on the methods. You see, all torture is a matter of free choice.

Think about it. Some guy is told that if he does not answer a question correctly, he will have his testicles oiled, wired and braised like fresh water clams. Clearly, he has a choice. The fact that a number of people prefer the latter may not be comprehensible to those of us who have no desire be grilled — figuratively or literally. But everyone is different. Who am I to impose my values on someone else?

Some people are happy to tell you what they know – can’t wait to brag. Some respond to a simple “please,” or a more emphatic “pretty please.” Others might require a little arm twisting, as they say. But then, there are those who seem to want to explore their personal limits of fear and pain. Why should we deny them there right to do so? We are a free country, after all.

To look at it another way, it is like a quiz show. Remember “Truth or Consequences?” Same deal. If you didn’t tell the “truth,” you got the “consequences.” It was a really popular show.

Maybe if we televised torture, it wouldn’t seem so bad. The hooded hostage holders of al-Qaida televise all kinds of torture and even slitting the throats of infidels on camera — and that seems to be quite well received with their viewing audience.

I’m thinking we produce a contemporary version: “Truth or Consequences – The Reality Show.” Consistent with our current cultural values, violence and blood could be viewed alongside Saturday morning cartoons, but anything involving nudity would be restricted to late night programming.

Finally, the television would be an important source of education for the children by witnessing the use of such retro devices as the Iron Maiden and the Rack (both pictured on left) – not to mention the debilitating affect of hard rock music played at deafening levels over prolonged periods of time (another Iron Maiden, coincidentally).

Of course, sometimes those tortured die. Everything in life has its risk. If a blood-thirsty maniacal terrorist is determined to stay silent in the face of possible death, again it is his choice. Not much different than assisted suicide, I dare say. This would also be consistent with their cultural and religious suicidal tendencies – usually expressed in crowded places. They seem to get a real bang out of it.

Don’t think I am an unsympathetic person. I know what such decisions are like – and so do a lot of other people. One time a guy pointed a gun at me on a dark street in Washington, D.C. He said, “Give me your money or I’ll kill you.” He was kind enough to give me a choice. I could have said “no” and exposed myself to serious injury or death. I chose to eagerly offer him the contents of my wallet – and I threw in a diamond ring and wrist watch as an incentive not to shoot me anyway. Life certainly can be a matter of making the right choices.

It seems to me that the best example we can show those who would destroy our civilization is our ultimate respect for their right to choose. As a just and honorable society, we must always make sure they know exactly what the consequences are if they choose not to answer the questions correctly. It is also important that once they refuse the less painful option, we must apply the promised consequence with speed and certainty. Honesty is, as they say, the best policy.

I can only assume that the campaign against the option of torture is just the latest example of those control freak liberals wanting to deny people yet another freedom of choice.

>OBSERVATION: When can we have torture back?

>I have a silly notion.

I think when we need critical, life-saving information from maniacal terrorists who slaughter children, decapitate prisoners for showing on You Tube and blow up shopping markets to make sure they kill families — aaaaaand who think these atrocities will get them any number of horny virgins for their eternal gratification – the information is not likely to be gotten by simply giving them a piece of paper with ten pertinent questions, like some high school exam. Nor do I believe that they will be induced to spill the beans on the next terrorist attack by making their stay in military custody comparable to a weekend at a Comfort Inn. Appealing to their conscience is as likely as finding Sharon Stone’s panties. There is no such thing.

Sooooo … how do you get the information?

Only two ways. Either you start hurting them until they are crippled, mutilated or dead, or you credibly and literally scare the shit out of them without doing permanent harm. That’s it. Take your choice. Now I personally think a mix of fear and pain without permanent disability is about the right place to be.

This brings me to the “standing room” only prison chamber** and waterboarding. These are getting a lot of criticism from the Amnesty International crowd. And for what?

The “standing room only” prison cell forces the incarceree to stand for as long as he is locked in place – sometimes for many hours. Now that may not seem like much of a torture (and I personally think it is not), it does get pretty damn uncomfortable and, yes, even painful. According to studies, however, no one made to endure this little information gathering technique has ever died or been seriously injured.

As an alternative to the tall small cell, we could just hire them as sales clerks, who stand on the feet for hours. Hey! Then we could make all those guys wear high heels. Oh. But that would insult their dignity. According to the feel good torture crowd, insulting dignity is another offense against mankind. Let me remind you again. These are the folks who blow up children. How dignified is that?

Waterboarding is a technique that triggers some sort of fear-of-drowning reflex. You tie the guy down (almost never women), place a towel over his face and pour water over the towel. Again, it is a technique that does not produce injury or death. There have been reports of a couple heart attacks, but I say every profession has its risks, and terrorism should not be exempt.

By the way, this is also the technique my mother used to rinse my hair when I was a wee toddler. I was made to hold the terry cloth rag over my eyes and face as she poured clean water over my soapy hair. Maybe that’s it. We soap up there hair first and just call it a CIA shampoo. That way, instead of torturing them, we are actually pampering them. The libs ought to like that … eh?

Just so you understand just how dangerous and horrific waterboarding is, consider this. The producer of a movie that will include a waterboarding scene under went the experience to better understand it. Promoters of a so-called waterboarding “thrill ride” at Coney Island will hype their enterprise by subjecting themselves to the technique on stage for the entertainment of the audience.

(This gives me an idea. Why don’t we subject terrorists to an endless loop ride on the “Superman” rollercoaster at Six Flags, or more appropriately the “Tower of Terror” at Universal Studios. No…no. Better yet. Strap them to the seat and run them through Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride until the crack. I am betting that by the third time they beg for waterboarding.) If waterboarding was any less scary it would be sanctioned by the teachers’ union as an in-school discipline technique.

I am sorry. I do not think we should give up waterboarding if it gets the information we need. I suspect there are a few even scarier techniques on the torture no-no list that I would have no compunction using on these reprobates. Whatever happened to The Rack? How about what Jesse Jackson proposed doing to Barak Obama (cutting off his nuts, if you missed the controversy). I say, if it is good enough for the civil rights movement, it is good enough for international terrorism. As an added benefit, it would drastically cut done on the number of future generation terrorists.

Liberals always resent our attempts to impose American-style democracy and culture on other nations. They think we should respect their autocratic customs. Since liberal ideology leans toward centralized government power, this makes some sense. But then why do they get their hemp undies in a bunch when we talk about turning all the prisoners over to Iraqi and Afghan police and military authorities to handle the interrogations in the good old Middle East tradition?

I guess all this whining about torture is just the international version of the classic liberal tendency to make victims of the criminals, and criminalizes the victims. People who can be outraged by a Koran in the latrine more than a slashed throat on the telly, or are bothered more by the naked bodies of the bad guys than the dismembered bodies of the innocent … well… they’re just too weird for me.

We also should also keep in mind that “clandestine operations” are meant to be … clandestine. Duh! Espionage always requires the breaking of rules. Who for one minute thinks that we get permission to spy?
In espionage, common sense trumps common law. The world’s spy industry summarily trespasses, steals, kidnaps, kills and even lies. They cannot be effective nor competitive without such superlegal authority. They operate more by license than legality. Our safety is dependent on our folks trespassing, stealing, kidnapping, killing and, yes, even lying better than those other guys. So … get over it!

And for the record, the United States Constitution does not apply for foreign nationals. They do not have “constitutional” rights … period. And the Geneva Conventions do not apply to terrorists… period. So let’s stop acting like they do. My version of Gitmo is “get mo’ information” and forget the pleasantries.

**Just for your edification, the “stand up” cell is nothing new. It goes back to merry olde England. The colonials imported it to this country and it was used frequently to keep the witches of Salem on there toes.

>REACT: Children’s museum or mausoleum?

>Even after 9/11, I have not been one to cower in fear. On the other hand, it is prudent to take whatever precautions seem reasonable.

I was reminded of this when officials of the Chicago Children’s Museum announced a new location for the facility. They would move it from Navy Pier to the north edge of Grant Park, near the Harris Theatre and Millennium Park.

Given the congestion in that area, and the Chicago tradition not to clutter the park (as Daniel Burnham advised), my initial reaction was negative. Seems to me that there are a lot better locations for this very excellent museum.

These concerns pale when you consider that the new site is just a bomb’s throw away form the Aon Building – an edifice that law enforcement officials often designate Chicago’s second mostly like terrorist target. The first is the Sears Tower, of course.

Gads! Had those good folks at the Museum even given this a thought? I think not, or the proposed location would have been eliminated at the onset. Fortunately, it is not to late.

I know. I know. The likelihood of a devastating attack on the Aon Building maybe be rather low. Maybe. Not sure how to even calculate that. But, it doesn’t matter. In a worse case scenario, Aon is close enough to come down on the Museum like a sledgehammer. Mayor Daley, himself, believes that section of the city has potential as a terrorist target. He said so when he demolished Meigs Field. Look at how the Aon Building has been fortified and security pumped up dramatically since 9/11. The Aon folks obviously recognize the danger. Since there is no compelling reason to put the Children’s Museum at what could be Chicago’s ground zero, why take any risk at all. Like I said, there are plenty of even better places to put it.

You may recall in my blog item of September 21, 2007, I proposed that the Museum be put on the south end of Grant Park, where there are no serious terrorist targets. But hey, that’s only my opinion. I am sure the Mayor and the people at the Museum can come up with any number of better, and safer, locations than in the shadow of that Aon Building.

Least you think I am making too much of the terrorist thing, let me tell you. My family was living in the Loop on 9/11. I still vividly recall the high anxiety (you might even say terror) my wife and I felt as we raced to retrieve our son from his school near the Sears Tower – even as we listened to news accounts (inaccurate, thank God) of a possible hijacked jet liner flying towards Chicago’s tallest building. It is not the kind of experience one forgets, and I see no reason to put other parents needlessly in that situation – ever.

I hope the good people in charge of relocating the Museum will not be so ego committed to their plan so as to put the children in harm’s way. Chicago’s children need a first-class museum, not a childen’s mausoleum.