Cold Cell, Rock Music, Belly Slapping — Where's the Torture?

We now know what the CIA plans to use on terror suspects to get them to talk.

I have the list, put together by The Guardian, the Brit newspaper which thinks Americans torture terror suspects.

It includes: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open-hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation.

When I saw that list I thought: Where's the torture? A belly slap? That's torture? The attention slap? Real torturers would laugh.

The Guardian also said this: "The New York Times recently reported that Abu Zubaydah, the first al-Qaida member captured after the September 11 attacks, was kept in a freezing cell until he went blue, and later assailed with loud Red Hot Chili Peppers music."

Abu Zubaydah was "assailed with Red Hot Chili Peppers music"? I know twentysomethings who would pay to be assailed. In fact, have paid.

As for the turning blue business, OK, I suppose that isn't much fun. But hey, it got him to talk, and that led to Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh.

Is turning a guy blue really so bad if getting those guys is the result? People certainly have been subjected to worse. Mr. Zubaydah ought to be happy he only turned blue.

And as for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Saturday Night Live" is still trying to book them, so they don't qualify as torture unless you're really a big band guy.

So what do we have? Cold, rock music, grabbing the terrorists' shirts, slapping the terrorists' bellies. I must ask again: Where is the torture?

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