Tuesday, November 15

"LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS, OH MY!"

The liberal-elite mainstream media will print anything to damage the President of the United States, to undermine his administration, and to challenge the underpinnings of the global war on terror in general and the war in Iraq in particular.

The Washington Post (registration required) betrays a good example of this in a preposterous article in today's edition citing allegations that U.S. military personnel used wild beasts to intimidate two captured Iraqis as part of a process of torture and degradation. Two telling elements: Abu Graib rears its head in Josh White's story, as does the ubiquitous ACLU, which has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the alleged victims against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and high-level military commanders in Iraq.

Two Iraqi men who were arrested in Iraq in 2003 but never charged with crimes say that U.S. troops put them in a cage with lions, pretended to execute them in a firing line and humiliated them during interrogations at multiple detention facilities.

Sherzad Khalid, 35, and Thahe Sabber, 37, say they were brutally beaten over several months at U.S. facilities such as Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib prison and another detention facility at the Baghdad airport. They said the abuse occurred when they were unable to tell U.S. troops where Saddam Hussein was hiding and did not know about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"That was a terrifying period for me," Khalid said through an interpreter yesterday, slowly recounting being shoved into a lion's cage at one of the presidential palaces in Baghdad three times before soldiers lined him up for a mock execution. "I was wondering if it could be real that the American army would act this way."

The plaintiffs, writes WaPo's Josh White, will appear in an upcoming "Nightline" segment. Now there's a surprise! And you have to think in short order that MSNBC's Chris Matthews will have them on "Hardball" so he can throw softballs at them. And, oh my, Larry King must be salivating.

It doesn't say in the article whether the lions had been well-fed prior to the introduction of Sherzad Khalid and Thahe Sabber into the cage or if the lions were chained or otherwise restrained in such a way that they couldn't have devoured the two terrorist suspects even had they heard the breakfast bell ring. Nor is there any mention that this gruesome interrogation technique was choreographed for the CIA by Ridley Scott, the director of the movie "Gladiator." Readers of ACSOL may recall that Russell Crowe survived ravenous wild beasts on the floor of Rome's Colosseum. Maybe the reason these two exited the cage intact is that the lions were cowardly lions in the tradition of the "Wizard of Oz" and, truth be known, hadn't been to the wizard yet to pull the curtain back and claim their medals for valor in fighting wicked witches and bomb-belted Islamofascists. Or maybe they were commandeered from a traveling circus troupe and were geriatric lions, merely used for shock and awe.

But, frankly, I remain sceptical. Surely lions loosed on defenseless peoples can be defined as weapons of mass destruction (the Christian martyrs certainly thought so) and the Democrats assure me that no WMDS were found in Iraq in the aftermath of the Bush-led invasion. That's what makes me think WaPo's news editors have been duped and this whole story is apocryphal.

Goodness, the next thing you know WaPo will headline a sensationalist, tabloid-style story on how David Letterman, operating as a covert CIA operative (not outed yet by Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney), helped interrogators at a covert, Dana Priest identified, Eastern Europe prison site force a half-dozen naked, Islamofascist terrorists into a windowless walk-in closet harboring the Late Night Show's Alpha-male grizzly bear -- a deadly mammalian monster with glistening teeth made infinitely more threatening because it is perpetually in a state of wanton hyperphasia!


FOLLOW-UP: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has termed the WaPo story and the claim that lions were used in interrogations "far-fetched," according to this story carried by Yahoo News. The story goes on to report that "detainees are trained to lie about their treatment, citing a terrorist training manual found in the British city of Manchester."