Sunday, January 11, 2009

Episode Twenty-Eight: "The Greatest Generation Would Have Arrested Him"

MARY: He admitted everything, Rhoda. The Vice President of the War on Terror said that he authorized the torture of 33 suspected terrorists, including the waterboarding of three "high-value" prisoners.

RHODA: I'm listening to "The Sign of the Southern Cross" every day until he's arrested.

MARY: He admitted that he violated Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. If this were 1947, the Greatest Generation would court-martial him.

TED BAXTER: Cowries, cornucopia, crotchets, cuneiform, cistern, cognomen, concertina, cotyledons, cosine, creosote, Clytemnestra, Czolgosz, Blue Label catsup.

RHODA: In 1947, the Greatest Generation ruled that Yukio Asano committed "torture" when he waterboarded a U.S. citizen.

MARY: Is "enhanced interrogation" a natural phenomenon? It affects people, but it affects them only as alienated social beings. What is "enhanced interrogation"-in-itself? How does the laser-pointer dot climb up the ceiling?

RHODA: Suppose that at this moment someone on Alpha Centauri just authorized "enhanced interrogation" of a prisoner. Who would be bothered?

MARY: The Greatest Generation declared in 1947 that torture is a "Violation of the Laws and Customs of War."

TED BAXTER: Gimcrack, anacoluthon, thingamajig, socdolager, gazebo, sesquipedalian, yammer.

RHODA: According to the Greatest Generation, the "willful and unlawful mistreatment" of prisoners of war is defined as: "beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward."

MARY: By this definition, the Vice President of the War on Terror "did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture prisoners of war."

RHODA: "The War on Terror ended," Vasily Rozanov said, "and the audience got up to leave their seats. Time to collect their coats and go home. They turned around. No more coats and no more home."


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