Monday, February 21, 2005

"Survivor: Guantanamo" 

You think I'm joking?

"A group of volunteers has been locked up in cages and sexually humiliated in a British reality show that seeks to explore the use of torture by recreating conditions inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

"The four-part series on Channel 4 asks whether torture methods applied at the notorious U.S. Navy base in Cuba and other prisons in places such as Iraq and the United States can be justified in efforts to combat terrorism, a spokesman for the station said...

"For the 'Guantanamo Guidebook,' part of a series due to be broadcast from the end of February, seven men - three Muslims and four white Britons - were locked up in a makeshift detention center at a warehouse in east London.

"Over a period of 48 hours, U.S. interrogation experts subjected them to a range of torture techniques known to be used at the notorious Cuba prison.

"Two of the seven failed to last the course, with one choosing to pull out and the other being forced to quit due to hypothermia, the spokesman said."
Options, coincidently, not available to the real Guantanamo detainees.

"Before embarking on the ordeal, the seven offered their opinions on torture and its justification, with some openly supporting the U.S. methods used at Guantanamo, where more than 500 detainees have been held for two-and-a-half years... 'At the end of it, we see what the volunteers now think about torture and the use of torture,' [said the spokesman]."
My wild guess is they won't like it, and since they didn't have any important terror-related information to divulge in the first place, I'm unsure what the show will really tell us about usefulness and justification of torture. Arguably, it would make for a more interesting TV to see journalists and TV folk to volunteer to go through the show instead of the seven men, alas, "sexual humiliation" might actually sound too much like a good night out.

But wait - there's more:
"Production company Twenty Twenty, which produced the series for Channel 4, will also broadcast three other films that explore aspects of torture.

"They include one by investigative journalist Andrew Gilligan, who shot to fame with his controversial 2003 BBC radio report that accused the British government of 'sexing up' the case for war against Iraq.

"In addition, renowned human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith who represents several inmates at Guantanamo and has visited the prison, will offer his insight, while a fourth program will explore the use of torture at detention facilities in the United States."
Sounds like some quality TV, considering that Gilligan's claims of "sexing up" were themselves "sexed up" by Gilligan, as documented by the Hutton Inquiry (among others) and that Clive Stafford Smith is now representing Saddam Hussein. Can hardly wait.

While we're at it, why not offer some suggestions to Twenty Twenty and Channel 4 for more Islamofascist related reality shows?

"Quadruple Wife Swap" - you thought that monogamy was complicated

"Average Jihad Joe" - surprise, ladies; he's not really a dashing millionaire bachelor, in fact he's not even a legal migrant

"The Terrorist Apprentice" - who will help Osama run the operation for a year?

"The Suicide Bachelor" - an eligible martyr has to choose his bride from among 72 virgins

"Extreme Makeovers" - our last winner, Al Zarqawi has so far successfully avoided identification and capture

"Big Mullah" - who will be the last one to be voted out of the cave?

"The Simple Life: Baluchistan" - follow the zany duo of Osama bin Laden and Paris Hilton as they travel through the north-western provinces of Pakistan while trying to stay alive and find odd jobs at gas stations.

And no, "Queer Eye for the Fundamentalist Guy" is unlikely to catch on.


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