In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong… we tortured some folks… it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those [other] folks had, and a lot of those folks were workin’ hard under enormous pressure….

— ****** *****, 8/1/14

We tortured some folks.
We gave ’em some pokes,
Electrical shocks,
And forcible knocks.
We pulled out their nails
(Deploring their wails)
And choked ’em with water
As we knew we oughter.
Our methods, enhanced
And amply financed—
Ingenious techniques
Devised by our geeks—
Elicited shrieks!
Inspired by ******
(Oh, he was so brainy!),
Whose proddings and pushes
We valued as ****’s,
We did what was right
At every black site.
The pressure we suffered
Was happily buffered
By knowing what’s awful
Is perfectly lawful.
Then don’t try to judge us:
Your horror won’t budge us.


One nation harmonious
Cannot be felonious;
’Tis wholly erroneous
To feel sanctimonious.