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L. Neil Smith's
Number 516, April 26, 2009

"The stuff that history is made of"

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Torture the Torture Advocates
by Jim Davidson

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Recently, a number of disclosures about the torture practices of the Bush administration have been released. We now know that not only were people water boarded, but some of them as many as 83 and 183 times—apparently the CIA attaches some special significance to these numbers. We also know that in addition to water boarding—for which the United States military convicted a Japanese officer of torture, and executed him—the United States government also uses a technique of slamming victims against a somewhat false and partially flexible wall, wearing, however loosely, a neck collar to allegedly reduce some aspects of whiplash—but not brain trauma. The United States government also likes to torture people by putting them in stress positions, by hanging them from overhead using handcuffs to dramatically damage the fine structures in their wrists, by sleep deprivation, and by enclosing its victims with insects such as scorpions, spiders, centipedes, or snakes. It also likes to confront its torture victims with nudity, with attack dogs, and with other violence.

In other words, the 8th Amendment, which says, very clearly, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted," in its entirety, has been violated. Note that it does not say who may be a victim of cruel and unusual punishments. It does not say, "nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted against the people of the United States," leaving open all foreign nationals. No, it says, "nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." And that's where it stops. So, no one in the military, no one in the CIA, no one working for the United States government in any capacity has any authority to inflict any cruel punishment, nor any unusual punishment.

I therefore submit that people like Peggy Noonan ought to be exposed to these treatments. She should not be allowed to continue living her life believing that the government she supports with her enthusiastic pronouncements does not torture. She ought to be confined in a chair and made to watch these goings on for eight hours a day, for two weeks. Otherwise, she'll continue to believe that if she closes her eyes and covers her ears, she can continue to be a good American. She cannot. She now knows about torture, about evil in the government she supports, and she has to be like the German civilians brought to the death camps. She has to be made to clean up the evil done in her name.

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden must be waterboarded 183 times. He must be slammed against a false and somewhat flexible wall 183 times. Sometimes his restraining collar should be properly adjusted and often not. He should be forced to sit in a stress position for 183 hours, continuously, and if he collapses, Hayden should be roused with attack dogs and kept awake for the full 183 hours. He is an advocate of torture, and he has no reason to expect mercy. He is an evil, vicious, brutal thug who hates children, the rule of law, peace, and reason. So the only just treatment of him is to give him exactly what he fears most—if it is bugs, then bugs in his cell, if it is snakes, then snakes in his cell, if it is attack dogs, then attack dogs in his face. It goes without saying that he must be hung from his handcuffed wrists until his arms dislocate from their sockets.

The same goes for Karl Rove, Jay Bybee, former vice president Dick Cheney, former president George W. Bush, and every other individual who has advocated for or committed torture while working for the United States government. There should be zero tolerance. If some of these people die as a result of being tortured, their bodies should be eviscerated and put on display with their heads on the iron fence around the White House. Those in the mainstream media who work for licensed broadcasters and who have advocated for torture under any euphemism (enhanced interrogation, my ass) should be made to watch.

However, I do think that after 83 days of continuous torture, each of these individuals should be given an opportunity to fully repent of their actions, to state publicly in writing and on video that they do not advocate torture any longer, and to be executed by firing squad. The firing squad would have to be composed of members of the military and witnessed by the members of the licensed broadcast media.

Here is what is at stake. The constitution for the United States of America defines treason as making war on the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies. I say that when a person sworn to uphold the constitution violates it, deliberately and egregiously, that is making war on the people of the United States and it is giving aid and comfort to our enemies who call us hypocrites and insist that we don't really mean what is said in the constitution. The Bill of Rights must be enforced, and if that means the blood of tyrants and sychophants must be shed, so be it.

There can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without freedom. And there can be no freedom without weapons.

Jim Davidson, author and entrepreneur, is working on making "Alongside Night" a household term. Watch for the upcoming graphic novel and film based on the screen adaptation of the novel. Get your copy at


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