Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nobody expects the Iranian Inquisition

In the aftermath of the Iranian hostage debacle, the British Ministry of Defense made a curious decision allowing the fifteen freed serviceman to sell their stories to the press. The rationale behind this suspension of regular military protocol was once the British public heard what kind of torture and deprivation the 14 men and one woman were subjected to they would understand why the Iranians were able to flip the crew of the HMS Cornwell faster than one usually flips eggs over easy.

Now that the tales have hit Fleet Street, the whole world is learning of the horrors of Iranian captivity.

For example, what made Seaman Arthur Batchelor cry himself to sleep during his time in the Islamic Republic?

A) He was repeatedly water-bonded, while being beaten on the soles of his feet with a bamboo stick.
B) He was told if he didn't cooperate the Iranians would kill female comrade Faye Turney and then go to England and kill the young child she kept blabbing about.
C) He was informed that he would be kept in Iran for the rest of his life, where he would work as either a convenience store clerk or a taxi driver.
D) His captors likened him to Mr. Bean.

Sadly, the answer is D.

Now I'm sure there was a lot harsher stuff going on than cruel comparisons to a lovable sitcom character, but when you allow a bunch of people who have just been traumatized -- and hadn't shown much judgement in the first place -- to sell their own stories in their own words these are the kind of embarrassing revelations that come up.

It all evokes the hilarious Monty Python Spanish Inquisition skits, where the inquisitors try to impose their will with tactics such as soft beatings with pillows.

In the skits they never succeed. If they had, I'm sure the new converts would have been sent off with a snappy suit and a goodie bag.

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