How do you do, Mr. al-Ranseed. I’m going to be your lawyer. I’m not from the government so I really am here to help you. It’s a joke. They always say “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” when they really mean “Run for the hills because you’re about to get screwed”. Screwed – it means - surely you know the word, in fact, I’ll bet it was the first English word you learned. Here’s a hint – it has four letters and the first one is F. Well, that’s all right. Most of our people can’t spell, either.
I’ll bet you’re surprised to be getting such good legal assistance. You know, you and I actually have a lot in common. We both belong to organizations that loath the United States.
Yes, you’re right, of course. Let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the point. Now it says here you were caught aiming a Stinger at a US helicopter. I can certainly sympathize – we invaded your country, after all. But you say you didn’t fire. Why not? Couldn’t find the safety quickly enough - no, that isn’t really the manufacturer’s fault, but come to think of it, they are an important defense contractor and they have deep pockets, so maybe it isn’t such a bad idea. You could probably do some real damage.
But that’s for later. Right now we’ve got to get you out of here, right? We have to prepare your case. They don’t just roll over and play dead while you… it’s an expression referring to one of the tricks people teach their dogs. Yes, I suppose they are dirty, but a lot of people like them as pets. I got a Wheaten Terrier for my kids. Yes, of course I let them play with him. No, it’s not like having a pig. For one thing pigs aren’t cuddly, although some people have these cute little Viet Namese pot bellied…you mean you shouldn’t even talk about them? Wow! I can see not eating them, although I must tell you, there’s nothing like a good pork chop. Center cut. Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll have them bring you something for nausea.
Better? I’m so sorry. Where were we? So they caught you trying to fire a Stinger and the next thing you knew you were on an airplane with a hood over your head and you’ve been here ever since. Well, the hood definitely violates the Geneva Conventions. We have a little problem with the G.C., though - you weren’t wearing a uniform. But I think I see a way around that. The, um, cloth you were wearing on your head – that’s a kind of uniform, isn’t it? We’ll try that. It might fly. Not like your Stinger, heh, heh.
Look. You’re in deep guano. A lot of people want your hide for September 11, even though you and I both know you had nothing to do with it. The happiest day of your life? It’s OK to feel that way, but if you want to get out of here don’t repeat it to anyone.
Now. Tell me what’s happened to you since you got off the plane. They’re feeding you garbage, right? No kidding! Better than your wives’ cooking! But no goat’s milk - that’s unforgivable. Utterly callous. Lack of cultural sensitivity is far worse than actual torture, you know, because it undermines your sense of personhood. What, you say? Torture is worse? OK, if you say so, but most people wouldn’t consider that torture. Most people think looking at a beautiful woman is...yes, the Eighth Amendment might apply – you’re well-informed, aren’t you? - it certainly is unusual, but it isn’t cruel…although maybe for a man of your background…we could make a case for it, but I want you to understand it could raise questions about your masculinity.
How about your living conditions? Mosquitoes - you could get West Nile! Actually, that’s good. We can say you’re being continually exposed to disease-causing pathogens. You see, they’re very sensitive about that sort of thing ever since the Tuskegee experiment, so I think we could get some traction with it. Yup, West Nile will work even if there hasn’t been a single case here yet. There could be and that’s all that matters.
Well, let’s see what we’ve got here – a case against Raytheon; a claim under the Geneva Conventions that you shouldn’t be here in the first place – if that works you can sue the American taxpayer to recover lost wages, your wife can sue for loss of companionship…yes, she could sue because you weren’t there to…yes, we do put a monetary value on that sometimes…no, it does not make her a whore…all right, skip that one. But Uncle Sam owes you back pay. You didn’t have a job? Shooting helicopters was your only employment? Well, if you don’t mind my saying so, you weren’t exactly employee of the month, were you?
Let’s see, lack of goat’s milk, pictures of women, mosquitoes. Oh – I knew I’d forgotten something. Do you have any allergies? Pork?! But how would you know you’re allergic if you’ve never tried it? I see. A bomb blew up a group of American soldiers, you got spattered and it gave you a rash? If Bush hadn’t sent troops to your country you would never have been spattered with second-hand pork and because of that you can’t enter Paradise? Beautiful! It’s the perfect First Amendment case - our State interfering with the practice of your religion! And it’s Bush’s fault! Don’t be depressed. Not getting into Paradise is your ticket out of here! Congratulations. You just won the lottery.
See, I said I would help you.
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