Tag Archives: senate

Iraqi detainees sharply criticize Senate torture report; say they were just “horsing around” with their “CIA buddies”

10 Dec

BAGHDAD–a group of former Iraqi and Afghan detainees angrily criticized the Senate report on CIA torture, saying it had made “our good times with CIA friends” look bad.

“The Senate clearly doesn’t understand what torture is,” said Jalal al-Yusuf, an elementary-school teacher who spent six months in Abu Ghraib prison after being confused with an insurgent with a similar name. “They look at a man with electrodes attached to his genitals and immediately think that something inappropriate is going on.”

Samar Hussein, a fruit seller who was spotted with a mobile phone in Sadr City in 2004 and spent three years locked up at a black site, was equally angry. “So I like to get naked and be hit with rubber hoses,” he said. “That’s a private thing between me and my good friend Jim Just Jim from Texas.”

“It was all just for fun, and our interrogators were clear that we could make it stop any time by using our safe word,” said Dr. Ihab Abed, who was picked up by police for looking unhappy during the short-lived Iraqi festival Dick Cheney Day. “My safe word was ‘Saddamplanned9/11’, for example.”

Fellow detainees Tarek Ayoub, Abdul Khader, and several others were unavailable for comment, because they were dead. A friend of Ayoub’s said “Sure, he died from asphyxiation under enhanced interrogation, but he could have died from asphyxiation sitting in a cafe, if the waiter had jumped on him and held a wet bag on his head. No one’s to blame.”

Leading Republicans and former members of the Bush administration also rejected the label of “torture,” noting that they hadn’t noticed anything amiss from their offices ten thousand miles away.

abu ghraib
Highly skilled interrogators build rapport with detainees through a fun team-building exercise.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein defends CIA spying, except against senators

12 Mar

WASHINGTON—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D—CA), one of the staunchest defenders of CIA and NSA spying, strongly criticized the CIA for spying on the Senate yesterday.

“What am I, an ordinary American?” fumed Feinstein. “You want to go listen to Joe Average’s personal phone calls, go ahead. But the Senate should be totally out of bounds.”

The controversy arose when it turned out that the CIA had accessed Senate staff computers, much as it and other government agencies have accessed millions of computers for years.

“Everyone knows I don’t believe in the right to privacy for regular people,” said Feinstein. “If they want to keep their own information private, then they should go get themselves elected to the Senate. But the rules should be different for me.”

Stung by the criticism, CIA Director John Brennan announced that he was changing protocols around domestic surveillance. “Unfortunately the nature of those changes is classified, though,” said Brennan, shrugging. “Sure wish I could help you.”

Obama asks Harry Reid to deliver State of the Union; “I don’t have time for this minutiae”

28 Jan

WASHINGTON—the White House confirmed today that President Obama has asked Harry Reid to write and deliver tonight’s State of the Union Address, noting that “if I got involved in every little political event in Washington, I’d never get any work done.”

The decision caught many observers by surprise, as the address is normally a President’s best opportunity to set the agenda for the year ahead and generate momentum behind legislative proposals. However, an aide noted that “the President just doesn’t feel like he should get sucked in to this kind of point-scoring.”

The aide denied that the President’s decision reflected any kind of disengagement with his job or the political process. “He is hard at work on his memoirs,” explained the aide, “and also thinking about post-Presidency plans.”

In another unconventional move, the President reportedly asked Nancy Pelosi to ask Harry Reid to deliver the speech, noting that “I can’t afford to spend all my time jawboning with Congress.” The administration later issued a clarification, noting that the President had actually asked a White House gardener to speak to Pelosi, explaining that Obama didn’t have her phone number anywhere.

Universal disappointment as “America’s Sweetheart” Liz Cheney drops out of Wyoming Senate primary

7 Jan

CHEYENNE—the much-beloved Liz Cheney announced today that she was removing her name from the upcoming primary election for the Wyoming Senate, prompting widespread sadness across the state, and indeed the country.

“Everyone loves the Cheney family, and Liz is perhaps the warmest heart of them all,” said homemaker Edna Switmouth, sobbing in front of a Starbucks two blocks from the State Capitol. “The Senate seat was hers for the asking. I’m just so sad.”

“Liz Cheney taught me the true meaning of Christmas,” said seven-year-old Nick Appleby, riding his bike to gun practice. “And she saved my parents’ marriage. I’m sorry to see her go.”

Despite the popular groundswell of support that greeted the news of her primary challenge to Senator Michael Enzi, Cheney announced to a disappointed public that she would not be competing after all, due to a “family health issue.”

According to her campaign, the issue was that her sister Mary continued to be in good health.

Congress starts new session confident it will pass immigration reform, lose some weight, quit smoking

3 Jun

WASHINGTON—Congress returned from a one-week recess today, vowing that it would put the last few years of dysfunction behind it.

“We’re gonna pass a great immigration bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D—Nevada). “Then we’re all going to join gyms and get back to our high-school weight. Everyone’s going to quit smoking. Confidence is high.”

The spirit was bipartisan. “The American people have told us loud and clear that they want us to tackle the nation’s toughest problems,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R—Ohio), working his way through a bucket of KFC. “And as soon as I can fit back into these pants, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, right after we vote again to repeal Obamacare.”

While experts expressed some doubt that Congress would find a way to be productive this session, given its recent track record of stalemate and incompetence, no such naysaying was heard in Washington. “Look, we need to do some serious work,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R—Kentucky). “And we’re totally going to start that in a couple days, right after a few quick hearings on the Obama administration that have no possibility of a meaningful outcome. But right after that.”

Eric Cantor reveals preventative surgery for brain cancer

15 May

HOUSTON–in a moving speech, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor today revealed that he underwent preventative surgery a few years ago because of his family history of brain cancer.

“These are difficult decisions, and I don’t pretend to know what’s right for everyone,” said Cantor. He then lost his train of thought and spent several minutes staring directly at the sun. A moment later, he sponsored the 37th House vote to repeal Obamacare.

Although Cantor declined to offer specifics, he said that he had had “radical preventative surgery” to prevent an occurrence of the brain cancer that he had seen on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and which “really scared the bejeezus out of me.” He didn’t give a date for the surgery, although experts noted that in February 2012 Cantor attempted to do a magic trick while being interviewed on Fox News.

“I feel great after the surgery,” said Cantor. “I’m going to recommend it to all my colleagues in the House.”

America struggles to feign interest in legality of drone strikes during Brennan confirmation hearing

8 Feb

WASHINGTON–the American public got a rare chance to hear a high-level debate over the legality and ethics of targeted drone strikes today during the hearings to confirm John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“This issue gets to the very heart of our foreign policy, the definition of American justice, and indeed our national character,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I almost feel guilty for just not finding it very interesting.”

Other members concurred. “I’d like to have a sense of outrage here,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D–MD). “But, really, you want me to get excited about a bunch of internal memos lawyers wrote for each other?”

Republicans were less interested in the debate. “As part of our platform, we endorse killing people under any circumstances,” said Committee Vice-Chair Saxby Chambliss (R–GA). “Terrorists, murderers, Pakistani civilians, people who hum tunelessly–take them all down, and we’ll sort out any legal issues later.” Chambliss later co-sponsored an amendment to legislation reauthorizing the Park Service that would allow any federal employee “to kill anyone anywhere for any reason,” as long as the employee “had a steely glint in his or her eye” while doing so.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D–OR) came prepared with tough questions for John Brennan about the drone strike, but Brennan deftly countered by presenting Wyden with a set of limited-edition terrorist and Predator action figures. The toys are highly classified, so Wyden will only be able to play with them at an unspecified secure facility.

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