Syria Cuts Off U.S. Access to Torture

The Syrian government announced this morning that it is “suspending indefinitely” its involvement with the United States’ “extraordinary rendition” program, effective immediately.

The program, begun under the Clinton administration and later accelerated beyond all recognition under the Bush administration following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, allows for foreign nationals detained by the military, FBI and CIA to be transported, for interrogation purposes, to other countries where their protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions and international law presumably do not apply. Syria has long been one of the program’s preferred destinations due to the Assad regime torture program’s reputation as one of the world’s elite as well as for low labor costs.

A short time later, the Assad regime issued a statement emphasizing that this action was necessitated by current manpower constraints, and “should in no way be interpreted as retaliation for the imperialist dogs’ support of the terrorist rebel forces seeking the overthrow of Syria’s legitimate government.”

Major Ali Qik-Bhutti, a high ranking Syrian official connected with the program, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing fear of reprisals, corroborated the official line.

“Under normal conditions, we seldom have a shortage of qualified, experienced torturers. But ever since the entire country outside Damascus hit the fan, we can’t keep up,” Major Qik-Bhutti confirmed, “Even with the influx of Libyan and Egyptian refugee contractors, our manpower is spread dangerously thin just dealing with our own domestic infidel pigs.”

According to Professor Newton Toomey, Distinguished Fellow and Honorary Chair of Enhanced Interrogation Studies at Pueblo State University, Syria’s move could not have come at a worse time for the Obama administration.

“There are two things no administration wants to have happen in an election year,” Toomey noted, “First: you don’t want the country to appear more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, and second: you don’t want to raise public awareness to the fact that you’re still doing these things. If I were the President, I’d be trying to figure out a way to get Putin to warm up to me ASAFP.”

As usual, Capitol Hill lawmakers and other amateurs remain divided on the issue. While there is a general consensus that the United States should hire interrogators domestically and send them overseas to torture their prisoners, there is disagreement on how to pay for them. Democrats have proposed a modest excise tax on torture implements such as whips, restraints, and racks, which they note should reap an immediate financial windfall from the upcoming Republican and Democratic Party conventions this summer. Republicans want to pay for the program with offsetting spending cuts in programs currently providing cervical cancer screenings and preschool first aid.

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney was quick to criticize the President regarding the unfolding events.

“This whole incident highlights the vastness of the incompetence this President and administration have shown for the past three-and-a-half years,” the erstwhile cardboard cut-out told a group of enthusiastic supporters attending a fundraiser at the minimum-security federal correction facility in Danbury, Connecticut, “For one thing, he doesn’t have the foreign policy chops to escalate our commitment to the good people of Syria, which would also strengthen our own security by ensuring that Muslims all over the Middle East keep killing each other. In addition to that, he supports a job-killing tax on popular hobby equipment in the middle of a recession. And worst of all, we come to learn that his administration has spent millions – if not billions – of taxpayer dollars outsourcing torture jobs to other countries when we have so many qualified, unemployed veterans with PTSD right here at home. Frankly, my friends — as an American – I’m almost embarrassed to show my face in a Swiss bank…”

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