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Posted on Sep 29, 2007 in Front Page Features, TIAOW

The Incorrect Art of War [Episode 34] – The Search For Doc’

By A J Summersgill and Jim H Moreno

Inside the cavern, more blinking lights appear at the top of the metallic egg and a second low hum slowly builds in power. Frightened, the rodents in the cave scurry away from the object as it appears to grow in luminosity. Whirring sounds from within the object can be heard and there is the smell of ozone in the air.

* * *

Major Spencer: Ah, General, I’m glad you could join us. Please, take a seat.

I will, but under protest Major.

Oh, and what seems to be the problem?

I’ve just visited your so-called canteen. It’s appalling. It’s just like the newspapers say – Guantanamo Bay is a hell-hole of unimaginable proportions.

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I’m sorry? I always thought the food to be quite passable actually. I eat there myself every day…

Well it’s disgusting, the waitress refused to give me a third refill on my coffee and they wouldn’t let me smoke.

Well, health and safety you know General…

And the cream on the cakes wasn’t entirely fresh.

I’m sorry about that. We’ll see if we can get some in for you. But for now, please take a seat. And I don’t mind if you want to smoke, I’ll probably join you.

Oh no you don’t, I’m not having your weird drugged smoke affecting my mind thank you very much. You keep those cigarettes in your pocket Major or I’m not talking at all.

Very well.

(General Menace takes a seat in an enormous leather armchair) So what’s it to be today? Thumbscrews or are you going to put a hood over my head and make me sit on the ground all day long?

General, I don’t know what you’ve heard about this place but that’s just not how we go about things here.

Rubbish, we’ve all seen the photographs of the people you hold at Guantanamo Bay, made to sit on the ground, chained, wearing orange coveralls with hoods over their heads…

Those pictures were faked General. Come on, this is America, we don’t torture people. Haven’t we treated you fairly and well since you arrived?

Some curtains on my window would be nice.

I’ll see to it. Any other complaints? Surely you can see that we’re doing everything to accommodate you?

Well… (General Menace stares intently at the Major for a while before speaking again) I’m sorry, just what is going on here? This is the Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, right? Not some other Guantanamo Bay somewhere?

Yes General, this is the real deal.

But this doesn’t make sense. This is where the US keeps its top terrorist suspects, the conditions here are supposed to be dreadful. Instead you ply me with cigars, fine wine in the evenings, a luxurious cell…

As befitting your status General. After all, you were once one of our very own top Generals!

Aha! So not everyone is treated like this?

Of course not!

I knew it!

Most of the other, erm, "residents" here have a smaller room and only a single bed. But we supply everything they want. I assure you, there’s no torture, no orange coveralls, no hoods, no chains, almost every day we get letters from the prisoners telling us how much they like it here, how much better it is than they had at home. Only last week, we tried to send some of them back to Afghanistan but they refused to leave until they’ve caught up with all the recent episodes of "Lost" on the widescreen TVs in the common areas. Even then, I suspect we’ll have problems getting rid of them.

[continued on next page]

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