Ripped from the headlines
With a clank and a thud the door swings open, rusty hinges shrieking. Five men crowd into the cell. Three burley uniformed guards, the small jumpy translator, and a new man. A man in a suit. CIA? He holds a small box.
Once again, the questions start. "Where is Osama?" demands the translator in passable Arabic. It has a strange accent. The prisoner had never been able to place it. The prisoner spits on the floor.
The man in the suit makes a subtle hand gesture. The guards advance and pin the prisoner to the wall. The man in the suit opens the box and takes out a small black device. He gives it to one of the guards. "You'll talk," he says with a wicked smile as it is strapped onto the prisoner's arm.
At first the prisoner feels nothing. Then an odd sensation. First a tingling. Not quite an itch. Not quite a burning. Sort of a tingly-itchy-burning sensation. It grows in intensity. It becomes alarmingly painful, the prisoner tugs at the device but aggressive glue and straps hold it firmly on his arm. As the pain reaches it's crescendo, it stops.
The door squeals and slams shut, and the prisoner is alone again. About five minutes later the tingling starts again. Then the burning sensation. Right as it feels like needles being spun into his skin it stops. Then five minutes later it starts again.
Within three hours the prisoner’s mind is filled with dread. When he's not experiencing the pain he's anticipating it. The pain is not really that dreadful, but the incessant nature of it preys on the mind, like the drip, drip, drip, drip of the water from the pipes in the ceiling of the hallway out side his cell door.
After two days he breaks and screams for the guards: "Ok, Ok, I'll tell you where Osama is, in the name of Allah, just please remove the device, I beg you!"
Three months later: in the Washington Post It Newspaper:
Administration officials today denied the torturing an enemy combatant at a secret prison in Eastern Germany earlier this year. The New York Times and the AP report that a senior Al Qaeda operative was interrogated by attaching an electrical device to his arm and applying electrical shocks every five minutes. CIA Spokesman Chris Liealot denied the device was a torture instrument, but rather an FDA approved medical device commonly used by diabetics in this country to monitor blood sugar levels. "We are firmly dedicated to the health and well being of enemy combatants in United States custody," said Liealot, "and that includes the monitoring of blood sugar in suspected diabetics." The prisoner’s arms were reportedly burned in multiple places. When the manufacture of the device was contacted, they confirmed that the device will cause "mild to moderate" skin irritation in most individuals.
Welcome to the GlucoWatch. By the way, Bin Laden was on the 14th floor of the Plaza Hotel in New York City (hey, people tend to forget the guy is a millionaire) ....but he had just cleared out when the SWAT team stormed the hotel.
NEXT TIME: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULDN'T