Tag Archives: top news

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.

Australian PM super-excited to have his own terrorist threat

11 Oct

CANBERRA–Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced that “after years of trying to whip one up,” his government had finally managed to find a homegrown terrorist threat.

“I’m pleased to announce that Australia now has a genuine Islamic terrorist threat,” said Abbott, smiling from ear to ear at a press conference. “I’d like to thank my team for their years of dedicated race-baiting, which has made today’s announcement possible.”

Abbott announced that Australian federal police had launched a series of pre-dawn raids in order to detain several young men who “had made vague statements about doing bad stuff online.” He noted that “they looked pretty shady and ethnic and stuff.”

Although he did not comment on the specific nature of the threats, Abbott did note that “once guys in their early 20s start talking to their mates about doing something, precise coordinated action can’t be far behind.” A source close to the investigation revealed that in a chat room one of the arrested men had commented on ISIS and said “we should totally do something, you know?”, which caused the entire government to go on high alert.

Prosecutors said that the arrested men would be tried for violating laws that were due to be written any day now.

“My government takes terrorism extremely seriously,” said Tony Abbott. “That’s why we have decided to start violating civil liberties, publicizing trivial incidents, and making hostile comments about religions and ethnicities, so that we can have more of it to fight.”

IMG_3642.JPGWe’ve got a terrorist threat this big

Putin says Olympic sites “almost ready,” calls snow camping “fun and healthy”

5 Feb

MOSCOW–as questions grew as to whether Sochi would be ready for the opening of the Winter Olympics on Friday, Russian President Putin said that “virtually all preparations are complete.” In an unrelated aside, he then spoke at length about the virtues of snow camping, calling it a “fun and healthy activity that everyone can enjoy,” especially athletes and their families.

“You can dig a hole in the ground, you can make a snow fort, you can pitch a tent–these are all pleasant and economical alternatives to staying in hotels,” said Putin at a press conference.

Putin also shared several anecdotes from a recent trip he took to Sochi, during which he lived off the land, hunting and foraging. “In every way, my visit was more pleasant than if I had come expecting to buy food in shops or restaurants.”

Putin closed the session by noting that, contrary to media reports, gay athletes would be quite welcome in Sochi, “as long as they are not attracted to members of the same sex.”

Taliban accused of links to JPMorgan

21 Oct

KABUL—a tentative peace deal with the Taliban has been scuttled by accusations that the extremist group has connections to JPMorgan Chase, the American bank facing a wide range of regulatory and legal challenges, sources close to the talks say. The news comes on the back of reports that JP Morgan is close to settling a range of investigations for roughly $11 billion.

A Taliban spokesman, while taking credit for two car bombs at an Afghan Army base, angrily denied the charges.

“We would never get involved in the sale of questionable mortgage-backed securities, said Ehsanullah Ehsan, speaking from an undisclosed location. “And we would never have supported the acquisitions of Countrywide or Washington Mutual,” two deals that have proven the source of extensive troubles for JP Morgan.

Ehsan, who has defended the public stoning of adulterers under Taliban rule, was harshly critical of JP Morgan’s handling of the “London Whale” case, in which the bank racked up almost $6 billion in losses. “Any fool could have told you that the CIO’s office had inadequate oversight of the UK trading desk,” said Ehsan. “What is this, amateur hour?”

A spokesman for the bank noted that the $11 billion fine was “well within our ability to pay” and that the bank had a plan to “pay the fine at no net cost to shareholders, if all goes well.”

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, declined to comment further, explaining that he had an $11 billion bet on tonight’s Giants-Vikings game and didn’t want to be distracted.

O.J. Simpson acquitted of giving thousands of secret documents to Julian Assange; vows to find “the real leakers”

31 Jul

CARSON CITY, Nevada—O. J. Simpson today celebrated a legal victory here when a Nevada state judge ruled that he was not guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy when he shared hundreds of thousands of confidential documents with WikiLeaks in 2010.

“This is terrific news,” said Simpson in a brief statement immediately after his acquittal. “With this legal battle behind me, I can now get on with my life’s mission: finding the real leakers.”

At the trial, Simpson’s lawyers described him as a “naïve idealist” who had joined the Army in the hopes of getting a better education, only to be disillusioned in his time there. While serving as an intelligence analyst in the Army, he rushed for a record-setting 2,003 yards in one season, including a then-record 273 yards in one battle against the Ramadi All-Stars.

Despite his recent acquittal, Simpson remains in prison for another crime, a 2007 robbery in which he attempted to steal sports memorabilia in order to give it to al-Qaeda.

Boehner “disappointed” in DOMA ruling; will look for alternate ways to combat gay marriage, interracial dating, witchcraft

26 Jun

WASHINGTON—minutes after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, clearing the way for an expansion of same-sex marriage, House Speaker John Boehner (R—Ohio) issued a statement declaring that he was “disappointed” in the ruling. He went on to say that the House Republicans would look at “all options” in their efforts to slow the spread of gay marriage. He also vowed renewed efforts to fight interracial dating, witchcraft, and Copernican astronomy.

“Just because something is popular doesn’t make it right,” said Boehner in a follow-up press conference. “Sure, same-sex marriage may have political momentum behind it, and a lot of people think that trial by drowning is outdated, but the House isn’t going to back down from our principles just because of a bunch of polls.” Boehner added that he was worried that the focus on marriage equality would undermine “the traditions that made us who we are today,” including racial segregation, skull trepanning, and smallpox.

Michele Bachmann made a similar but slightly stronger statement. “I’m disappointed in the ruling, and I urge all Americans to rise up in armed revolt against this tyrannical government and drown the streets of Washington in the blood of the unrighteous,” she said, in words more moderate than those she has used in the past. “Burn this modern-day Sodom to the ground,” she added.

President Obama, meanwhile, was ebullient. “I’m just so pleased with this ruling today,” he said in a written statement. “It’s great to see the nation get to a socially just outcome without requiring me to actually exercise any kind of political leadership.”

Citing low ratings, NBC cancels Syrian civil war

1 Jun

NEW YORK–NBC CEO Steve Burke today announced the cancellation of Syria’s growing civil war, part of a housecleaning intended to revive the network’s flagging fortunes. He cited viewer apathy and declining ratings as the reasons for the decision, going out of his way to clarify that “we at NBC love what the Syrians have been doing over there–it is truly cutting-edge stuff–and we’re sorry to have to let it go.”

According to industry insiders, while NBC was delighted with the initial response to the Syrian revolution–“demos off the charts,” in the words of one expert–a sense of sameness had set in among viewers. Attempts to keep the war fresh with new plotlines involving factional splits within the rebel ranks only confused the public further, leading all but the diehard fans to stop watching.

The creative teams behind the war were disappointed but not surprised. “While I would love to see this war continue forever, it’s taken longer to find our audience this season,” said Syrian President Bashar Assad. “I’m incredibly proud of the work my team here has done, and I hope we can continue to slaughter civilians online.”

The civil war will join many other NBC assets that have recently been let go, including “Smash,” “Rock Center,” and a lingering sense of self-respect. In the most recent ratings results, the network placed thirty-seventh, behind ABC, CBS, Univision, Oxygen, a bunch of eighth-graders with a webcam, and vacuum-tube radio.

Emails show White House “double-dog-dared” Benghazi militants to storm consulate

11 May

WASHINGTON–pressure mounted on President Obama today as leaked emails show that not only did he replace the consultate’s armed guards with signs saying “Parking for Packers fans only–all others will be sacked,” but at one point he live-broadcast a message to the mob gathering outside, “double-dog-daring” them to storm the building.

“Look, in retrospect, we might do that differently,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “Especially the part where the President told them to ‘cowboy up,’ which apparently translates pretty poorly.” Added Carney, “you have to understand that we thought the Packers sign was foolproof–we still don’t know how they got past that one.”

While some called Obama’s actions leading up to the attack on the Benghazi consulate irresponsible, Carney vigorously defended the president. “He made it very clear that, if anything were to happen in Benghazi, he was prepared to exercise his usual decisive leadership.” Pressed for details, Carney explained that militants were warned that Obama “would make an angry televised speech in which he would complain that no one was listening to him.”

Some good news emerged late in the afternoon, when some Republicans started saying that the Benghazi hearings were distracting Congress from important government business. “We haven’t held a meaningless vote to repeal Obamacare in almost three days,” said Eric Cantor.

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