Monday, March 07, 2005

White House Clarifies Torture Policies

Today the White House clarified its stance on rendition, the practice in which the Central Intelligence Agency deported suspected terrorists to nations known to have engaged in torture.

“We did not hand over suspects to foreign nations to be tortured,” said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. “And if we did, they certainly deserved it.”

McClelland’s statement followed a report in the New York Times, which alleged the CIA has been exporting terror suspects to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, all of which are well known for their torture of prisoners and political dissidents.

“We do not condone torture, though we do practice it,” he added. “But only when we feel it is absolutely necessary to help us win the war on terror, or when our boys in the field need to blow off a little steam.”

McClelland then corrected himself. “I meant to say ‘our young men and women.’ I mean no disrespect to the valiant women who serve in our armed forces, many of whom are asked to don elaborate dominatrix uniforms while humiliating terror suspects.”

For the first time, the White House clarified what constitutes a terror suspect. Though McClelland said the rules were quite complex, they did generally include frequent purchasers of Pita Pocket sandwiches and anyone wearing traditional Arab dress, which may also include individuals wearing a bath towel at the time of their arrest.

McClelland stressed, however, that the agency took extreme care to ensure that the list of suspects did not mistakenly include members of the Saudi royal family or anyone associated with the Carlyle Group.

In an effort to lighten the mood, McClellan ended the brief press conference with a song. “Now I’d like to practice my rendition of ‘Midnight at the Oasis,’ said McClellan, turning to a karaoke machine and cranking up Maria Muldaur’s 1974 hit.


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