I knew I would have to confess sooner or later. Yes, I am a torturer, at least by the high standards of the latest revelations from CIA. I have no excuse; I did it because it gave me pleasure. I don’t even have the excuse coughed up by the interrogator/torturer in the report:
An Agency [redacted] interrogator admitted that, in December 2002, he and another [redacted] smoked cigars and blew smoke in Al-Nashiri’s face during an interrogation. The interrogator claimed they did this to “cover the stench” in the room and to help keep the interrogators alert late at night. This interrogator said he would not do this again based on “perceived criticism.” Another Agency interrogator admitted that he also smoked cigars during two sessions with Al-Nashiri to mask the stench in the room. He claimed he did not deliberately force smoke into Al-Nashiri’s face.
I have done the same, repeatedly, for about 50 years.
And not just to foreign terrorists, but to friends, family, dinner guests, fellow bridge players, and even professors. Very rarely I deliberately forced smoke into their faces, but only very rarely, and then only when I was really, really annoyed.
In my own defense, I insist that the cigars were invariably very good ones. Before Kennedy banned the Cuban cigars, they were almost always from the island. More recently, they’ve come from Central America and sometimes Miami.
If it can be demonstrated that the cigars in question were cheap cigars, crappy cigars, then I think the redacted interrogators should be prosecuted with vengeance. Otherwise, they’ve got an invitation to come over for dinner and I’ll provide the cigars and limoncello.