Friday, August 08, 2008

The White House Interrogation Room

The White House now has its very own interrogation room. After all, you never know when a terrorist might show up in the neighborhood.

Pukitzer Prize winning reporter Ron Suskind recounts a frightening incident in his new book, "The Way of the World," that happened when a Pakistani national who is also a graduate of Connecticut College passed by the White House one morning and stopped to fiddle with his I-pod while cars passed through a White House gate.

"He turns as a large uniformed man lunges at him. The backpack!” the man yells, pushing Usman against the Italianate gates in front of Treasury and ripping off his backpack. Another officer on a bicycle arrives from somewhere and tears the backpack open, dumping its contents on the sidewalk. […]

"Usman is trundled from the SUV, escorted through the West Gate, and onto the manicured grounds. No one speaks as the agents walk him behind the gate’s security station, down a stairwell, along an underground passage, and into a room — cement-walled box with a table, two chairs, a hanging light with a bare bulb, and a mounted video camera. Even after all the astonishing turns of the past hour, Usman can’t quite believe there’s actually an interrogation room beneath the White House, dark and dank and horrific."

More here.

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