We can’t always control our friends

  • Rick Horowitz / Syndicated Columnist
  • Saturday, March 19, 2005 9:00pm
  • Opinion

“Of course, once they’re out of our control, there’s only so much we can do.”

– CIA Director Porter Goss, explaining

” … electrodes, and another 20 kilos of duct tape. I am understood?”

“Perfectly, Commandant. I will see to it personally.”

“Excellent. Now go – I have an important meeting with our American friend.”

“Perhaps another shipment is arriving?”

“That is entirely a matter between me and our American friend.”

“My apologies, Commandant! I only meant – “

“I know what you ‘only’ meant. But this is not a conversation for you, although you are equally eager to see what gifts the CIA has brought us this time. Still, we should not – ah, here he is now, you are dismissed. Come in, my friend! Please have a seat – how go things today?”

“Things go about the same, Commandant – still fighting the good fight. Nice to see you again.”

“And I am likewise delighted to see you. We were very excited to hear you would be visiting again, and as always, my security services are entirely at your service.”

“Much obliged, Commandant. Here’s the guy’s file. It didn’t come from us, and you never saw a word of it.”

“Of course not.”

“Standard stuff: Yemeni national. Says he’s a nobody. We’re – “


”- not so sure.”

“You think he knows things.”

“Let’s say we’re open to the possibility. And your guards seem to have a way with words.”

“Ah, our famous hospitality! We are known throughout the world as the best of listeners.”

“Among other things.”

“We need not discuss these other things, yes? It is sufficient to – “


“It is sufficient to say that whatever we are asked to do by our friends, we do it with – how do you say? – with gusto?”

“Gusto is good. We like gusto.”

“I knew you would. So: You will turn him over now?”

“You bet. My men have him downstairs in the van. He may be woozy for a couple more hours, but I’m sure you’ll – “

Thwack!! Thwonk!!

”- be able to perk him right up.”

“Perking up is one of our specialties, my friend. In fact, many of our prisoners find themselves remaining awake for two and even three days at a time. We find that – “

“That’s between you and your men, Commandant.”

“Oh, absolutely – strictly between me and my men. You just want the results.”



“And our methods … ?”

” … will be strictly in accord with international law and pertinent treaty obligations, of course. As always. You ready for the assurance?”

“The assurance. Certainly. I am needing a good laugh today.”

“OK, then: Can you, as commandant of your national security services, verbally assure me that the treatment of this detainee rendered into your custody today will fully comply with all international blah-blah-blah, and furthermore, that you will refrain from any blah-blah-blah that in any way violates blah-blah-blah?”

“Of course.”


“Excellent. And get some better soundproofing.”

Rick Horowitz is a nationally syndicated columnist. Contact him by writing to rickhoro@execpc.com.

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