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The Naked Truth



What does the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have in common with The Crazy Goat and The Monkey Bar in Park City? A. torture; B. lap dances; C. Christina Aguilera; D. All of the above.

The correct answer is D.

Before you jump to any wild conclusions, I am not suggesting that The Monkey Bar or The Crazy Goat engage in any form of torture other than requiring patrons to abide by the Utah liquor laws … occasionally. What had the Salt Lake City and Park City fathers’ undies in a bunch is that some patrons were swinging on striptease poles and engaging in lap dancing. Now we are learning that female interrogators at GITMO were doing pretty much the same thing to extract information from detainees. Does Amnesty International consider this “gulagesque”?

Apparently one man’s torture is another man’s night out with the boys. A manuscript by former Army Sgt. Erik Saar, 29, who worked as a translator for the camp, said he witnessed this form of “torture.” The Pentagon is currently vetting the manuscript, but The Associated Press got its hands on pages describing how civilian contractors hired to do interrogations used sex as a tool to crack some of the tougher nuts, so to speak. What is so bizarre is that the U.S. military used the music of Christina Aguilera and women stripping as part of “tougher physical and psychological interrogation tactics.”

According to the documents, civilian female interrogators would dress up in miniskirts and thongs and act as if they were pole dancers. To Muslim detainees, this was the ultimate torture, as their beliefs forbid them to have close contact with women who aren’t their wives. These terrorist suspects are so tough that when all other tactics failed to bring the desired results, all that was left was to bring on the ‘hos. Even the FBI reportedly complained to the Army about using such techniques.

This story came out months ago. While the Newsweek story about allegations of Qur’an abuse caused riots in Afghanistan that resulted in several deaths, not to mention a surge of anti-American demonstrations in the Middle East, there were no reports of violence attributed to this story. Reports of abuse at Abu Ghraib got Unlucky Lindy England and her squeeze Charles Grainer thrown in the brig. We’ve all seen the photos of prisoners being led around on a leash, stacked naked and lashed to their bunks. From an American point of view, after enduring such treatment, being subjected to a private striptease performance would seem a reward for holding out. Some of the former prisoners who have been released complained they were tormented by “prostitutes.” Ah yes, winning hearts and minds.

I can see Larry King and Mike Wallace trying to land Sgt. Saar for an interview and Oliver Stone offering to buy the movie rights. The script would be perfect for Demi Moore with her experience in G.I. Jane and Striptease. What I find disturbing is all this nonsense boils down to one thing: sex. Whether it is The Monkey Bar, The Crazy Goat, or alleged torture at GITMO, the moral crusaders in this country are appalled by sex, but for entirely different reasons. One thing’s for sure: if you want to avoid terrorists, strip clubs sound like the places to be.

After hosting a local radio talk show for nearly 30 years, Tom Barberi is retired and enjoys multiple-choice questions.