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The lighter side of Christopher Hitchens being tortured

July 2, 2008 | 10:46 am

I saw a short comedy monologue many years ago, the name of which escapes me, playing on the factoid that Leon Trotsky is said to have survived 25 hours or so after being icepicked. The actor playing the Soviet apostate delivered funny lines for a while, then concluded with a very special address to the audience, noting that it should give you hope for humanity that a man can live a day even with an icepick in his head.

Christopher Hitchens has himself waterboarded, complete with a safeword and a dead man's switch, for the August issue of Vanity Fair. Read the story here and see the video, which I consider obscene, here. Hitch's conclusion?

I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

No argument here! But just to look on the bright side, it's encouraging to learn that the Hitchens ticker can make it through a brief torture session without failing.

Courtesy of Mike Riggs.

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