So I ask you; Where is the outrage? Where is the dissent? This is U.S. of A! Isn't it!!?
November 2, 2006
This is a story about a fictional character. Fictional only because I don't know his name. Fictional because although I am sure of his existence, as I am sure we can not be the only living presence in the universe, I do not know of his precise whereabouts or the exact details of his life. But I can tell you that he exists and like the rest of us lived a normal life, based on whatever standards that is considered normal wherever you happen to be. There are billions of people around the world with each having their own personal story. Stories that mostly go untold; just or unjust.
This is his story.
I can tell it.
So I will.
Most flights out of the New York JFK airport were delayed. People lined the walls frustrated with the situation and lack of information. He like others was leaning against the wall checking email on his blackberry. An increase in the noise around him made him look up. He saw a group of officials approaching his area. They walked directly to him and asked his name. After identifying himself he was asked to gather his belongings and follow them. "Procedure" they called it. "Won't take long sir!"
Skip 6 months ahead.
He closes his eyes and leans back against the inner wall of the bathtub trying to relax. Steam slowly rises off the hot water. It's quite. He thinks of the past 6 months and how it seemed like an eternity. He recounts the number of airplanes he's been on since then, he recalls the distinct stench of the hoods that were placed on his head, the number of times his shoulder was dislocated, the every day terror, and the pain, the pain, the pain. They all seemed like ancient history though, a distant memory. He starts to think of his family; his beautiful wife, young son, parents, sibling, friends... he thinks of family dinners, the strolls in the park, they seem so real, so possible, a bright light at the end of the long dark tunnel.
A little smile creeps across his tired weary face. A hard slap across the face brings him back "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SMILING ABOUT YOU SCUM?" he keeps his eyes shot for a second longer trying to hold on to the thought. Another slap follows. He opens his eyes to the face of his aggressor. It's a muscular man sitting on a chair to his left, leaning over him. He is in a room lit by a single light bulb hanging low from the middle of the ceiling. The four corners of the room remain dark. From what he can see the white tiled walls are dirty and covered with mildew. The bathtub is on the ground in the middle of the room. There is another chair on his ride side but it's empty. It used to be occupied by the good-cop. His hands are tied behind his back, his feet bound by a strap. He is naked and has sunk far enough in the tub that only his head remains above the water. "Hot enough for you Mr.?" says the man followed by a smile. He follows the man's hand to a small knob on the corner of the tub. The man turns the knob to another dial. Feeling the rise in the temperature he yells,
"I TOLD YOU EVERYTHING I COULD AND I'M TELLING YOU THAT NONE OF IT IS TRUE BECAUSE I DONT KNOW ANYTHING! HOW CAN I MAKE YOU BELIEVE ME? TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR AND I'LL TELL YOU YOU MOTHER FUCKER!"
The man doesn't flinch, it's not about information or the truth anymore. This is a small corner of the world with no memory. There are no consequences here. It's a place where the darkest side of men can surface and subside without a single ripple or noise. It is the forest with no trees. In horror he spots the first bubble. He follows it rising through the water as it reaches the surfaces and disappears with a small pop. Within 5 seconds he sees the next.. The man turns the knob further. The temperature continues to rise. The pain is numbing. He simply can't comprehend the level of pain. His mind flashes back and forth, from memories, to the pain, to the feeling of hopelessness, he starts hallucinating, he sees himself standing over the stove cooking various things in various pots, he sees his son playing in the pool, he goes back to his earliest memory of being burnt and then back again to where he is, from the airport in NY to this tub, and how? How? How could this happen? He moved from his native country to escape this kind of horror. He left his motherland in hope of a better life and to take part in the great accord. What greater sacrifice could he make? What else could he do? He starts to feel the bubbles in two's and three's against his naked blistered skin. He can't hold back anymore. He let's out his first short scream.
Getting a little satisfaction the man smiles and turns the knob another dial. The temperature continues to rise. The continuous sound of the bursting bubbles echo in his head. For a split second the pain subsides as he focuses on a clear single thought. A thought that always crossed his mind but never took hold; a thought that only occurs when one is full of hope and utterly devastated by a broken heart; there is no way out. Without control he feels the next excruciating scream coming out. It's a conscious decision. He channels it;
"HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO ASPEN MOTHER FUCKER?"
"No I haven't," says the man with indifference as he's leaning over him.
"IT'S PRETTY MUCH LIKE THIS MOTHER FUCKER! YOU GO SKIING ALL DAY AND THEN COME BACK AND GET INTO A HOT TUB. IT'S VERY RELAXING. YOU SHOULD TRY IT SOMETIMES MOTHER FUCKER!" The man finds this amusing.
"Is that so? Want to relax a bit more?" says the man as he turns the knob another dial. The water starts to boil. The color starts to turn as little traces of blood seep out of his flesh. He screams out in pain:
"THIS IS GREAT MOTHER FUCKER! HOW ABOUT A BACK RUB?"
The man smiles again. He feels himself loosing consciousness. His mind starts to go blank. The only think resonating in his mind are the tunes of a song. He starts to sing out loud. "Shut up" says the man. He continues on.
"SHUT THE FUCK UP," says the man. He couldn't hear anything anymore. He didn't feel the water against his skin or the air in his collapsing lungs, just the unconscious rhythmic flow of the words to his lips.
"SHUT THE FUCK UP I TOLD YOU," said the man as he picked up a pistol and pointed at his head. The fluctuating sound of the lyrics continued to resonate in the dark lit room.
"I WONT TELL YOU AGAIN YOU SCUM!" says the men. Few seconds pass as a single shot rings out. The echo of the shot phases out. The only sound remaining is the rhythmic harmonious murmur of the boiling water.
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So I went overboard with the dramatics. Or did I?!? Here are the facts.
Fact: With recent passing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 "Habeas Corpus" has been struck down meaning anyone categorized as enemy combatant by the president can be detained indefinitely with no right to request a hearing.
Fact: Due to this law if the evidence is considered top secret it doesn't have to be shared with the defendant. Meaning that a person will not know why they are being detained or prosecuted and therefore have no way of defending themselves or clearing their name.
Fact: There has been secret CIA detention centers around the world and mostly in countries where torture is a standard practice. One of these centers was in the country of Uzbakhastan where it is known the prisoners are boiled in water as a form of torture.
So I ask you; Where is the outrage? Where is the dissent? This is U.S. of A! Isn't it!!? Is this all done for our protection? BOO! Scared enough?!? Have we lost all power of critical thinking? Why the hell did we move here? For an easy effortless life? No questions asked! Or for the rights to express our views and to be heard? Is that something that can be given in a gift wrapped box and then taken away? Is it a privilege? Or a right?
Does it take any effort on our part? Don't we live here? Isn't this our house? Don't we have a duty to take part in this system which is designed on a sole base of its member's participation? Isn't that what everyone admires about this place? Isn't that the beacon we heard so much about? Can such standards and values be so unappreciated that they can be taken away by a simple stroke of a pen? So the Bills & Janes can brush it off and think nothing of it. They've never seen any different. But we as immigrants have no excuse. So why are we so complacent? When is the boiling point? WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?!?!?? Comment