Commentary Magazine


Contentions

It Was a Caterpillar

Bug-Gate is bad, folks, really bad. But I remain convinced that the only way we’ll ever bring this “dark and painful chapter in our history” to a close is to face the horror of it full on. Only then can we heal as a nation. So steel yourself for what comes next:

The Bybee memorandum, which was written on August 1, 2002, described the CIA’s plans for using insects this way:

“You [the CIA] would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us [the Department of Justice] that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect into the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box. You have orally informed us that you would in fact place a harmless insect such as a caterpillar in the box with him.”

Does the sadism of Dick Cheney know no bounds!

I think we know the answer to that. As these memos are pored over in the hours and days ahead, we must be prepared to hear details about Operation Harmless Squishy Thing that may rock the very moral foundations of our country. The caterpillar is likely just the beginning. Slugs, inchworms, centipedes, millipedes — a whole backyard of horror could be unearthed.

But take solace in the knowledge that we’re no longer faced with the false choice between our security and the deployment of our garden pests. Remember the thoughtful words of President Obama: “This is a time for reflection, not retribution.” And some day, after much national soul searching, we will look at the caterpillar not as an instrument of torture, but as a future butterfly once again.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.