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“A Few Bad Apples”: A Mocumentary*

(*sprouted from an intended Documentary)

[In light of the talking heads that have surfaced recently from the constitutional shallows to take credit for the demise of Osama bin Laden, we disclose a(n aborted) simulation meant to explore in greater depth those constitutional shallows. Of course, one prefers not to mock others, but when “those others” continue to manifest escalating obtuseness about the torque perpetrated upon the American Constitution under their “righteous” watch, one has diminishing options. NOTE to obtusers: “mock-on.wrtr!” considers every person (even you) to have human rights whereas does not. Who would not prefer the “lance” of a Jon(athan) Swift or Stewart to that of a Pol Pot or Pinochet[1]? Unless of course, one is also obtuse about Pol Pot and Pinochet! Or likewise, if one believes that objectives justify any means! NOTE TWO: names have been amended for a purpose.]


Place: Gitmo interrogation room

Time: 8th Anniversary (more or less)

Scene: Black box room; large viewing screen—i.e., a whitish sheet draped to divide the room; 3 metal chairs face screen; the dented middle one is occupied by Rush Limpaugh, fresh-faced and attired in an orange jump-suit; he has been duct-taped in place; the other two chairs are empty; Donald Drumsfeld stands in a back corner—on one leg—at a desk elevated to the proper height by 2 flat stacks of metal chairs. A timing clock shows 6 hours, 3 minutes.

Voice from beyond the screen: “Mr. Limpaugh, in the interests of partial disclosure, you have been renditioned by Citizens against Torture and Hypocrisy (CaTaH for short) to screen a new documentary. Through a free and democratic process and a series of small participatory incentives, you were voted as the man most likely to resist information. CaTaH couldn’t afford renditions for our other guests, being Mr. Dick Chainee, who declined our invitation claiming a prior hunting engagement; and Mr. Karl Rover, who was voted as the man most likely to invent information, but who also declined, claiming he was in protracted, top-secret (Oops! Oh well!) negotiation for the Fix-job of Bill O’Really!. You may have noticed Mr. Drumsfeld in a back corner. He was not invited initially, but insisted on coming at his own expense to prove a standing-point. He has been allowed to remain on his express promise (which we remind him, was given in writing) that he NOT interfere in these proceedings.

“Now, we know Mr. L., that silence is not one of your strong suits, so we are sorry about the duct-tape. It will be removed at the end of the screening. Oh, and just so you know, we have double security on standby. We will begin without further delay.”

Documentary scenes (DS-x) flash upon the viewing screen:

DS-1) Video of Geo Bush: whacking brush and other Texas shrubs while muttering “I’ve bin had! I’ve bin had!” under his breath. [Several Secret Service hover in the scanty shade.] Suddenly GB exclaims (as the Texas sun caresses his boyish face): “I say, nobody whacks a Texas Bush with impunity. We’ll re-designate. If they ain’t entitled to rights, then we can’t do nothin’ wrong by ‘em. Right, boys. It’s brilliant sense and first-class history, if I don’t praise so myself.”

DS-2) Video of Dick Chainee: “We’ll have to work sort of the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, without any discussion, without any discussion, without any discussion, [tech hiccup is thumped into submission] using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies—if we’re going to be successful. That’s the world these folks operate in. And, uh, so it’s going to be vital for us to use any means, any means, any means, any means, any means [2nd tech hiccup corrected with a loud whack on the module] at our disposal basically to achieve our objectives.”[3]

DS-3) Video of David S. Addingnone [running caption: DC’s DA: aka Dick Chainee’s Dark-side Advocate]. DsA hangs his long cape and 5-gallon black ‘n white cowboy hat in a secret closet. Sits down at his computer to redact his email and memos.

DS-4) Video montage of Jack Bauer extracting information on 24 while being cheered by several senior and semi-officials, including but not limited to Chertiff and that other guy, Feithful—all closely clustered in a windowless office. (Several are taking notes).

In his Gitmo corner, Donald Drumsfeld mutters: “Way to go, Jack-O. These CaTaH wimps should be conscripted to hell, fire ‘n damnation.”

(A deep sigh from beyond the screen!) Voice-over: “Excuse us Mr. D, but you did sign a contract, if you recall.”

Mr. D shifts his weight and mutters: “Duress vitiates, if you care to look it up.”

Voice-over: “Just so you know, Mr. D, three strikes and you’re outta here. OK.”

DS-5) Surveillance photo of former OLC Assistant A.G. Jay S. Bywybee signing “The Torture Memo” while holding his nose.

DS-6) Surveillance video of underling John Yoo-Hoo (while blowing his): “The working definition we find most apt is ‘equivalent to organ failure’.”

DS-7) Video of Cofvert Blackout rubbing his knuckles as caption scrolls: Former head of Counterterrorist Center and subsequent point-man says “Gloves off” BlueSky Memo. Additional caption: CB has serendipitous 2005 segue into vice chairmanship of Blackwater USA: State Dept’s biggest private security contractor, etc.

DS-8) Photos of Abu Ghraib (as seen by the public). More photos of American soldiers and detainees (not yet seen by the public and unlikely to be seen per Obamah Executive Order, but leaked to CaTaH for limited viewing rights after paying a $50.00 incentive).

In the corner, Donald Drumsfeld mutters: “A few bad apples!” He shifts to his other leg.

DS-9) Video of Rush Limpaugh in front of a large microphone (with righteous indignation) “These guys have been trained in making false allegations of torture. It’s all a ploy to discredit America and its values.”

DS-10) Scrolling text of The Torture Memo.

Orange-faced Rush squeezes his eyes tight shut. Voice-over begins to read the text aloud. Rush opens his eyes and pretends to read. Voice pauses then continues reading. Rush tries to tip his chair over, but it has been clipped to the floor. As he thrashes about, the documentary goes to pause. After a few minutes, things settle and the voice resumes reading hi-lighted portions.

DS-11) Photo of George Tenetloss [running caption: Former CIA Chief]: Classified memos scroll across his face.

DS-12) Grainy video of unknown persons burning videos and DVDs. Caption reads: CIA cleaning its drawers of interrogation films to make way for new blanks.

DS-13) Video of Condolee Rice [running caption: Former National Security Advisor & former Secretary of State]: “Whatever you think, Mr. President is far Right by me and extremely Right by America. And I cannot repeat enough, Sir, how your secret redefinition of torture has proved a brilliant strategy. I myself have covertly referenced it innumerable times; and I can assure you, Sir, that without it, we would have looked and sounded very, very, VERY bad—indeed and in fact. Yes, sir, Sir, redefinition was plain and simply masterful—and very comforting to the conscience, I might add. Yes, indeed.”

Rush Limpaugh feigns (?) respiratory distress. In shock and awful fury, Drumsfeld rushes to Rush’s side, thumps the detainee’s chest and blows air into his nose.[4] (Rush’s mouth is not available re duct tape; supine rendition not possible either for the same reason). Rush’s eyes dilate in enhanced distress as he thrashes his head from side to side to avoid Drumsfeld’s yawning maw. Drumsfeld hollers and gesticulates at the screen. “Enough, already, you imbeciles! Can’t you see the man has had enough? Are you monsters? Have you no regard for HIS ‘n OUR CONSTITUTION?

Rush’s torquing girth succeeds in rupturing the chair’s substandard[5] leg-welding. Freed from restraints, the chair launches and the ensuing rear-ender propels the gesticulating Don into and through the viewing screen which cascades in billowing grace upon the pomp d’circumstance.

Sounds of a crash and [redacted] frustration are heard from the Voice-over shadows. Meanwhile two actors in Military Police costume scramble in unrehearsed confusion toward the undulating scene.

Frustrated Voice-over: “Well, you’ve done it, Mr. Rush. Our limited budget did not anticipate reconstruction costs, so you’re off the evidentiary hook, so to speak, though it appears a second water-board may be prudent considering Mr. D’s resuscitation deposits and our irritations. In any event, we will keep your first confessional and universal release on file for future reference. And we’re sorry to inform you, that since we didn’t anticipate your quasi-termination for several more hours, our rendition plane is still fundraising for fuel. In the meantime, you can enjoy some Gitmo soundtracks, which, considering your increased time exposure, may now exceed our original pain-threshold assessment. Sorry about that, but you sort of brought it on yourself, didn’t you? As they say, when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong profile, you get what’s on the pike, deserve it or not.”

Voice-over exits lugging the irreparably damaged projector.

The military actors don earplugs as a Gitmo soundtrack blasts into the black box. Lights fade to pitch black as Rush and Drumsfeld stiffen in shock and awe.

[All of which constitutes the aborted end of a never-to-be-acknowledged semi-simulation.]

[1] Note: We have deliberately selected specimens from the far left and the far right of the spectrum.
[2] First suggested working title: “Shock and Awful!”
[3] This is an accurate transcription of D.C.’s actual words from Meet the Press, Sep 16, 2001. In addition to other sources, see: ;
[4] A commendable reversal of attitude considering his previous declaration: “I don’t do detainees.” (Ref: Jane Mayer’s, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, p. 188)
[5] We highly recommend a congressional investigation into the Gitmo chair supplier (a well-known gov’t. contractor that we decline to name IF litigation is possibly pending). We believe there may be ample evidence of malfeasance because a concealed USPO (with paid-in-full notation) was later discovered in the mangled chair tubing. The PO was for 20,000 Gitmo metal chairs at $1,006.66 /chair. The chair price seems excessive considering the quality, the efficient market hypothesis, and considering we could only find 42 such chairs in the entire, semi-vacant (now used as storage) half of the once bustling Gitmo facility. DISCLOSURE: we managed to rent our Gitmo location for the day’s semi-simulation at less than half the price of one dented chair. (And there wasn’t even a supply and demand competitor! Would you believe!)