For many freedom loving Americans, the idea that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld could truthfully not believe that tactics like water boarding are forms of torture seems to stretch their credibility past the breaking point. However, I'm not so sure that I would be so quick to discount their statements on the issue as self-serving efforts at protecting their historical legacy and an attempt to keep themselves out of jail. To believe them, it is essential to find a context in which their ignoring the obvious is believable. Under what circumstances would any rational human being believe that being strapped to a board and then being systematically drowned, revived, and drowned again repeating the process over and over again is not torture?
It was while watching an old episode of the television show CSI that the answer became glaringly clear. In the show, the lead investigator, Grissom, is enamored by a woman with an outside of the mainstream profession. She was a dominatrix. According to the respected alternative lifestyle website Wikipedia "the stereotypical image of a dominatrix is of a woman wearing a rubber or leather catsuit and thigh-length boots with high heels or, in a more elegant and teasing mode, black lingerie, stockings and high heels, or some combination of these two alternatives. Many professional dominatrices do indeed wear similar outfits for their work in order to meet client expectations. Women who engage in female domination recreationally are known as dommes, dominatrices, mistresses, or simply dominants. A high percentage of dominants are lifestyle dominants, but some simply play the dominatrix role because it is a high-paying profession. It is common for professional dominatrices who are also lifestyle dommes to have both paying clients and a "personal slave or sub" or slaves or subs, who are not paying clients. A personal slave will typically perform a domme's housework and run errands for her. A personal slave may or may not live with his or her domme. Professional dominants most frequently do not engage in sexual contact with their paying customers, as this can be construed as prostitution in some places. A common form of domination involves chastity where a dominant controls her slaves' sexual access, sometimes keeping them locked in a chastity device except for rare occasions." By the end of the episode, all had become clear for me. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are obviously devotees of this profession. To them, a little water boarding and electrodes to the genitals would be just another Saturday night on the town.
To further support this position, I did a little research. The most famous Dominatrix was the legendary Bettie Page who was at the peak of her fame in the 1950's. Cheney was born on January 30, 1941 which means that during his teenage years as his sexuality was forming, the dominant Page must have captivated little Dick's imagination and deeply impacted his view of the world. As for Donald Rumsfeld, he was born on July 9, 1932. Mental illness usually becomes more pronounced during an individual's twenty’s which means that during the very time that Don Rumsfeld was struggling to grasp hold of reality, Bettie Page was grasping his manhood and shaping his perspective on the use of power.
So, to those of you who continue to doubt the honesty and integrity of Cheney and Rumsfeld with regard to their defense of torture techniques, I must respectfully disagree with you. I think it is all too apparent that they really are just a couple of screwed up little boys who never grew up. Pity them but don't hate them.