Sunday, June 12, 2005

Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel Interrogates Mohammed al-Qahtani At Gitmo (excerpts)

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Alleged photo showing Sen. Hagel w/al-Qahtani

Background: Today's Time magazine article on U.S. interrogation techniques used against suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay has produced both outrage and yawns from its readers. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska weighed in on this subject the other night:

"It's not appropriate," Hagel said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition.

"It's not at all within the standards of who we are as a civilized people, what our laws are. If in fact we are treating prisoners this way, it's not only wrong, it's dangerous and very dumb and very shortsighted. This is not how you win the people of the world over to our side, especially the Muslim world."

Rumors and unconfirmed anonymous sources have speculated on whether Hagel made a clandestine visit to Guantanamo Bay in recent days. One high-ranking government official, who did not wish either his ranking or his government to be revealed, has handed us apocryphal, verbatim notes taken during Hagel's personal interrogation of detainee, Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is suspected of being the 20th member of the terror group that launched the September 11, 2001 airline attacks on New York and Washington D.C.

Selected Excerpts

Hagel: Hi, there....I mean, salaam (or is it shalom? D**m all these Arab words sound alike!). I'm sorry to interrupt your evening that "duck a l'orange?" Mmmmm......(D**m, all I got at the officer's club was chick peas and gravy!). Oh, where was I.....yes....have you got a few minutes? I mean, you're not too busy right now? Can I talk with you, please? You're not going anywhere tonight, are you? Hah, hah! That's a joke, son! Did you get it? ....."going somewhere?" That's funny isn't it?

al-Qahtani: Huh? What the....? Who are you? What do you want? Answer me right now or I'll slit your throat with this plastic spork!

Hagel: I am Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska and, within the appropriate standards of our civilized society I would like to try and win you over to our side.....You are Muslim, aren't you? You are? Good! That's even better!

al-Qahtani: Well? "Say it or slay it." That's what I always say. So get on with it. I don't have all day, you know. Oprah comes on at 7:00 pm.

Hagel: Ah, well, you see, yesterday, wearing my rubber gloves and using both hands I was reading my personal copy of the Koran......oops.......I mean, Qu'ran......and I became convinced that Islam is the "religion of peace." Am I right? I mean, you're more of an expert on this than I am.....

al-Qahtani: Peace? Peace will come when every camel-nosed infidel like yourself is either rotting in hell or converted, by the free exercise of personal faith and reason, to Islam. It will be your choice. Either way, peace will come. So, sure.....I guess in that sense Islam is a "religion of peace."

Hagel: Oh, really? Good! That's good! Really! You know, some of my best friends have been Muslims. Not that every Muslim is a terrorist, mind you, but some.....a few.....not very many of the terrorists I've heard about have allegedly been Muslims. Which is what you are, right? An alleged Muslim? No, I mean a terrorist? Be honest with me, please. If you are, you can have the strudel for dessert! Hah hah! Got you again! I wouldn't withhold your strudel! That wouldn't be.....well.....civilized, would it! No, of course you can have your strudel! But.....uh.....where was I.......?

al-Qahtani: Look, who are you, really? CIA? Special OPs? One of those American infidel goons from Abu Ghraib? What are you going to do? Shave my beard? Bring an attractive woman into my cell? Play another Christina Aguilera CD? Hah! You'll never break me!

Hagel: Heavens, no! That would be in violation of the Geneva Convention which I have never read in my life and actually have no idea what the h*ll the Geneva Convention is anyway but that doesn't matter because you have every right to be treated with respect and dignity while being held under illegal detention in this shameful gulag!

al-Qahtani: Are you for real? Guards! Guards! Get me out of here! This guy's nuts! He's talking like a madman!

Hagel:'s one's going to hurt can trust me!

al-Qahtani: Trust you? You really are nuts! You know, if I could get my hands on a 747 right now I'd fly it right up your........

Hagel: Hold it.....stop right there......don't say anything that might incriminate you.....see.....I've got my fingers in my have the right to remain silent.....

al-Qahtani: Stop it! Stop it! You're crazy! You're contagious! You're driving me nuts, too! Osama never told me about people like you! Guards! Guards! Get me out of here! I don't even like strudel! Get this psychopath away from me and I'll tell you anything! Really! I even know stuff about OJ Simpson! Just get this guy away from me!.......

Here, unfortunately, the excerpts come to an end. Military spokesmen have refused to confirm or deny whether Senator Hagel has visited Guantanamo or not (which proves, by the way, that President Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq). But I do have it on very good authority that Mohammed al-Qahtani has ordered his lawyer to file a law suit alleging inhumane treatment and emotional suffering after being served blintzes and bagels for breakfast.

Phone calls to OJ Simpson's home in Florida have not been returned.

Update: Captain Ed discusses the same Hagel quotes here.

Update #2: Terrence, in a comment, correctly points out that Sen. Hagel was not quoted in the Time magazine article. I had conflated his quotation from numerous articles about the Time article. I have accordingly, rewritten my opening paragraph so as to be both accurate and fair. Thanks, Terrence