(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
THE TORTURE OF DICK CHENEY
A Play in Two Scenes
Caution; the scene of interrogation might seem a tad bit harsh.
The Play begins below. Please turn off your cell phones. No flash photography. Thank you and enjoy the show.
THE TORTURE OF DICK CHENEY
TORTURER #2: (Interrupting) …He’s had twenty-seven heart attacks. He gets arrhythmia thinking about a Beretta 391. We just show him slides of a menacing Grizzly Bear and he’ll be wetting his jammies to get out there and blow some blood and guts to smithereens. He’ll tell us what we want to know.
TORTURER #2: You’re on. But, we’re never going to get to the cattle prod because we’re not going to torture him with pain but with lust. He’s a busy man. Doesn’t like to be tied down. We just say, “Tell us what we want to know and we let you go.”
TORTURER #1: And what is it we want to know exactly?
The Torture Room. Dick Cheney is strapped to an upright board like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs but without the ball-gag. A single light-bulb illuminates the room. CHENEY is undergoing Chinese Water Torture and about every ten seconds we hear a single drop of water fall from above onto Dick Cheney’s bald spot on the top of his head. The water is room temperature tap-water. The Two Torturers stand by his side in the shadows asking the occasional question or making the off-hand remark.
DICK CHENEY: Is it safe? You’re asking me is it safe? We’ve got tens of thousands of radical, insane terrorists around the world trying to bring me to The Hague on war crimes and you’re asking me if it’s safe? Safe for who motherfucker? Your Aunt Clarissa who is still alive because I chose the dark side because somebody had to after we were attacked? Never forget that. We were attacked. And we chose to fight fire with fire. We didn’t have to. We could have been civilized about this but where is the fun in that. We want to beat the enemy at his own game. Total destruction. It means, like them, we don’t care what we do to meet our objectives. The ends justify the means. If you’ve got information I want and I think if I point a gun at one of your kid’s heads and start trash-talking Allah, it will get me the information I want then I’m going to do it.
TORTURER #1: What if it doesn’t work?
DICK CHENEY: Then you blow the kid away and move on to the next kid. Start youngest to oldest.
TORTURER #1: That’s barbaric.
DICK CHENEY: Never bluff. Eventually after all the kids and wives and family are lying around like Mai Lai and he still doesn’t tell you what you want to know then you move on to the next house and begin again.
TORTURER #2: Prudent.
DICK CHENEY: The important thing is you scare the living bejesus out of as many people as you can. That’s the important thing. Dehumanize, degrade and debrief. S.O.P. Torture is not about truth, don’t make me laugh. I’ve got a tape of a guy confessing to eating his own mother in an Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day. He didn’t have a mother and never heard of Ireland. It’s not about information. It’s about teaching someone a lesson they’ll never forget.
TORTURER #2: Amen.
DICK CHENEY: You see all these Madrassa things they got over there, these religious school things that whip up these young thugs into whirling dervishes with all this anti-American hate calling us weak and decadent and infidelish, well, after a while, these kids start to believe it and start thinking they can declare holy war on us and we’re just going to take it because we’re Satan’s spawn and we’ll die easy because we’re evil. And the next thing you know we’ve got al Qaeda kids flying planes into buildings and attacking London and Spain and Bali and Iran is the biggest sponsor of these schools if you don’t think too hard or long about the matter and so we really have no choice but to round up as many of these Muslim haters as we can and teach them the truth about America. We are not weak. We are not decadent. We are not Infidels.
TORTURER #1: What are we?
DICK CHENEY: We are the biggest, baddest motherfuckers on earth and if you fuck with us we will kill you, your family, your friends and anyone who has ever or might ever know you. You think we’re weak? We will snap you in two like a twig. You think we’re decadent? We will shove the Koran right up your ass. You think we’re infidels? We will cram Jesus down your throat until you convert or choke to death.
TORTURER #1: It’s holy war, sir.
DICK CHENEY: Well that’s what they believe so that’s the game we play but this isn’t about God.
TORTURER #2: Hell no! It’s about Communism. The Chinese are taking over the world and they got these little camel jockeys holding our oil hostage over there doing their inscrutable bidding. Muslimism is just the newest ism and all isms are Communism.
(Dick Cheney rolls his eyes and spits on the floor.)
DICK CHENEY: Are they pulling twits right out of the TSA for torture duty now?
TORTURER #1: Technically sir, it’s not torture unless it kills you and then it can’t be torture because then it’s negligent or accidental homicide. Torture is only a crime while you’re alive. And anyway, America does not torture. You may die accidentally or on purpose but you were never tortured. And if you didn’t die, and you get back out on the street then obviously you weren’t tortured because you are still alive but it’s possible you were treated somewhat harshly but harsh is not torture because America does it so elegantly. Evil, with all due respect, is strapping a suicide belt onto a pregnant woman and telling her to go buy a loaf of bread in the market square or you’re going to shoot her mother in the face. Big difference.
DICK CHENEY: I remember when we got Gonzales and those Lawyers in the room and they asked what torture was and I said, “If it doesn’t kill you it’s not torture and if it does kill you then you had it coming because what were you doing there being tortured in the first place if you weren’t guilty or wanted to be?”
TORTURER #1: Genius. (To Torturer #2) I told you he wouldn’t crack.
TORTURER #2: This good-cop/good-cop thing is a new strategy since Obama took office. We don’t think the results are any better but there is less screaming and convulsions. That gets on your nerves after a while. “Just die already,” you want to shout sometimes.
DICK CHENEY: Obama. Don’t get me started on Obama. Safe. Is it safe? Obama. You feel safer with that big-brained Harvard yuppie with funny ears than me and crazy George? Well just wait. AfghanPaktan is like an atom bomb inside a death star. Iraq is the Hatfields and McCoys on a Hal Lindseyian biblical scale. The people of Iran are led by apocalyptic nut-jobs from Jihad Central. And those kinky Saudi Arabian Princes makes those crazy Mormon cults look like a Martha Stewart campout.
TORTURER #1: And the Israelis sir?
(Silence in the room. A long moment.)
DICK CHENEY: And have we been attacked again? Huh? Have we? Huh? Huh? NO!!! We took the attack to them and now we fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here plus we’ve taken away all their frequent flier miles so they can’t even get here if they wanted to and what does Obama do? Cuba.
DICK CHENEY: After 50 years of staunch bi-partisan support of the Cuban exile community, Obama loses Cuba in his first hundred days. Can the Caymans be far behind? In my day we treated Banana Republics like Banana Republics and invaded first and asked questions later. Now what; a Cohiba in every humidor and a tax-shelter for every Tom, Dick and Harriet who can afford a Princess Cruise? Obama is a…
TORTURER #2: Two words, sir. Manchurian Candidate.
TORTURER #1: That’s a bit much don’t you think? He was elected fair and square.
DICK CHENEY: Just like me twice. Fair and square. (Cheney laughs eerily like Burgess Meredith as the Penguin in the old Batman TV show.) I say torture; you say suture, let’s call the whole thing off. Wait. Do you hear something? A water fall. Or a babbling brook. Some dripping, dropping, running-off-at-the-mouth new-age fountain sound. And a sense one has to pee. Is it safe? You ask if it’s safe? Of course it’s safe. It was always safe. 911 does not an Armageddon make, but we had you going there for a while, huh? Mushroom Clouds over Manhattan. Osama and Saddam sitting in a tree. Aspen trees. The Glory Days…
(Dick Cheney falls peacefully asleep.)
TORTURER #1: Yup. Classic text-book case.
TORTURER #2: It’s the only way to get the truth really. When you think about it torture is the most unreliable truth getting device in the world. Irish stew.
TORTURER #1: Yup. We got the truth alright. What was it again?
TORTURER #2: Dick Cheney is the biggest S.O.B. who ever lived.
TORTURER #2: Nah. Let him rest. He’s got nothing more to say of any relevance.
TORTURER #1: Right. Well? We’ve got crazy George right down the hall; want to do him?