Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tortured Humor

[Note: revised on 3-19-11 to reflect that it was Scott Simon, not Steve Inskeep, speaking to McChesney]

Steve Inskeep Scott Simon talked to John McChesney reporting on the charade of justice occurring down in Guantanamo bay. You'd never know that the whole set up of Guantanamo is almost universally recognized as being in violation of international law, and that the country conducting this travesty is only one of seven rogue nations to vote against the International Criminal Court where any legitimate war crimes trials should be held.

None of this comes up in McChesney's extremely slow and creepy comments about the Guantanamo "trial" of Salim Ahmed Hamdan. He states that
"the defense today brought in written testimony from Khalid Sheik Mohammed whose known down here affectionately as KSM. He's the architect, self-confessed architect of the attack of 9/11, and I'll tell you there didn't seem to be any class consciousness in al-Qaeda. Here's what Khalid Sheik Mohammed said about Hamdan...'he was a driver; his nature was more primitive....but he is fit to change truck tires, change oil filters, wash and clean cars'....he almost sounds like the Click or the Clack of al-Qaeda."
There's a lot to unpack in this wretched attempt at journalism:
  • "Know down here affectionately as KSM": Known by who? Obviously not by the other detainees, but clearly by the guards and military authorities holding him.
  • "affectionately": Ha, ha; reminds me of the humor of torturers with their perverse euphemisms such as "Happiness Avenue" or "Frequent Flyer Program."
  • "self-confessed architect": Confessed to whom and to what legitimate authority?
  • "the Click and Clack of al-Qaeda": It's time for a drug test for McChesney...
Later in the report Inskeep Simon asks about closing arguments and McChesney says, "Closing arguments on Monday, sentencing to follow." Even Inskeep Simon has to jump in to remind him, "Sentencing to follow if there's a conviction we should say."

To this correction McChesney smugly states, "If there's a conviction - and if there isn't a conviction, he could still spend the rest of his life here at Guantanamo or at least an indefinite period until the war on terror is over." War on terror? What "war on terror"?

2 comments:

Porter Melmoth said...

Interesting! I noticed that on Saturday, The Simonizer was chiding McChesney about his 'interpretation' of said 'trial' on a couple of points. I thought it was a case of Simon Says - and What Simon Says Goes, but now I'm confused. Is old grey McChesney at odds with NPR Central? If so, why? What's his angle? Anything 'official' coming out of Gitmo is going to be a farce, but yes... I'm confused... (Just like 'they' want me to be...)

pamela said...

Gee, I wonder what the verdict will be! I am sure that this low-level driver for Osama was integral to the so-called terror plot. What a shameful farce.