I'm willing to ignore the fact that every civilized society has opposed torture for hundreds of years. I'm willing to ignore the fact that engaging in torture puts us in the moral position of the people we're claiming to oppose, thus reducing the entire conflict from a real struggle between two opposing philosophies to just names for sides. I'm even willing to ignore the fact that, in almost every case, torture doesn't work, serving only to degrade both the victim and the perpetrator. All this I will do, if they accept a small proposition. The keyboard blatherers of the right are really fond of these shadeless, all-or-nothing wagers, so I've got one for them.
Each pundit who has advocated the use of torture techniques like those proven -- not reported -- to have taken place at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo reports at 0900 tomorrow to a special federal penitentiary. Their location is not disclosed to anyone in their family, and they are to remain there for two weeks.
Each day, they will be subjected either to lights, standing, or sleep deprivation. Each will be kept in solitary confinement. And each night, they will have one of these things done to them:
- Forcible sodomy with a light stick.
- Mock execution.
- Being rolled in a blanket and beaten.
- Burning with phosphoric acid.
- Being bitten by dogs.
- Being cloaked, stripped, and hooked up to a battery with wires.
- Being hit with a wooden chair.
- Forced at gunpoint to disrobe and join a human pyramid of their fellow naked inmates.
- Being urinated upon.
- Having open wounds kicked, struck, and hit with batons.
- Being smeared with human and animal feces.
- Having all of these activities photographs and shown to strangers.
They will then have the option of leaving quietly, never seeking any recourse for what has happened to them, and signing a statement swearing they were not victims of torture or illegal abuse. Each one who does so gets a free pass for one prisoner to be tortured in his name; and if they go through the whole process again, they get another one, free!
Pretty good deal, I'd say.