The Chinese Water Board: Executive Intelligence Extractions
By Ron Singer
Internal Memo: urgent & confidential
From: DK-47, R & D, EIE
Subject: The Chinese Water Board (CWB)
Date: November 16, 2015 9:49:13 AM
To: WJB, CEO, EIE
Fiddling around (like he's paid to do), a kid in my Dept. has come up with an idea for an invention, which he's dubbed "The Chinese Water Board" (CWB). Before I set my guys to work on a prototype, here's a heads-up. I think this one may be a keeper.
What is CWB?
The kid's idea cannibalizes existing technology: an amalgam of water boarding (WB) with the Chinese water torture (CWT). Hey, the greatest ideas are often the simplest, right? Think wheel, think lever!
WB, you already know, since EIE has dealt with it extensively. (Hell, everybody knows WB!)
CWT is another story. In fact, it's probably not even Chinese. First described by Hippolytus de Marsillis in Italy sometime during the 15th or 16th centuries, CWT was used by the Spanish Inquisition. Then, in 1910, it surfaced in Berlin, where Houdini escaped from something his PR guys dubbed "The Chinese Water Cell."
Effectiveness of CWB Antecedents:
Again, as we all know, the best available research (BAR) suggests that WB almost always elicits intelligence, but the "intelligence" can turn out to be bum scoop.
As for CWT, strangely for such an old method, there is little reliable evidence re: results. For what it's worth, according to their site, an ersatz outfit recently tried CWT on a couple of their own employees. Effects were extreme claustrophobia, shoulder spasms, and (I kid you not) a gradually formed hollow in the center of the forehead. (I wonder if these human guinea pigs filed for Workers' Comp.)
Application of CWB:
Why combine the two techniques? For the one-two-punch effect. After several sessions of WB, accompanied by the usual concomitants (sleep deprivation, hunger, thirst, facials, perhaps even a little foot "massage"), instead of giving Subject time to worry about what's coming next, we put him back on the board, do nothing till he starts screaming, then start the cold water drip (CWT).
Between drips, the sleep-deprived, panicky Subject will start to drift off, then "ping!" When this has been repeated several times, and Subject shows forehead hollowing, shoulder spasms, and claustrophobia, but before he (or she) goes gaga on us, the interrogation should push forward at full speed.
We both know how essential surprise is to any intelligence extraction. Did you ever hear about the trick they used in a political prison in one of the banana republics? (I forget which.) Once a week, the authorities would show all the prisoners a classic film comedy (Charlie Chaplin, "Some Like It Hot,"...) Without telling them ahead of time, some weeks they would punish the prisoners for laughing, and some weeks, for not. Well, that would keep you guessing!
The Chinese Water Board: Executive Intelligence Extractions
As usual, timing will be key. These gizmos will probably be so simple --a slanting board with automatic bucket, ice machine, and a drip mechanism like a leaky faucet-- that, even gussied up, we can probably hawk them for a few-hundred K apiece.
And not to worry about the bottom line! After the recent events in Paris, everyone is having hissy fits about unbreakable encryption apps. This makes methods like CWB more attractive than ever. As you know, there are 196 countries in the world, which means there are maybe 2,000 machines for us to sell, right off the bat.
And once the big boys (US, China, etc.) rush laws into effect banning un-breakable encryption, the villains will be begging us to sell them CWB. As you also know, a ballpark figure for the # of known terrorist organizations (not individual operatives) in the world today is 1,000, which has to be way too low! And think of the movie rights...
At some early juncture, we should do a controlled in-house study, comparing results from each of the separate antecedents with those of CWB. Since we both know very well how to massage the stats from such "studies," this one could boost sales exponentially. It might be best to time the release to coincide with the first wave of anti-un-breakable encryption laws, before the initial market freezes and we have to turn our marketing campaign toward the bad guys.
Speaking of in-house, we could follow the example of that ersatz outfit (CWT). Hell, we have plenty of our own minimum-wage stiffs (janitors, etc.) who would probably be thrilled to score a few extra spondulicks!
Anyway, Walt, as soon as I get your go-ahead, consider this done. Given the simple design, by the time Marketing puts together a prospectus, CWB should be ready to ship.
W/apologies for the seat-of-the-pants style of this memo,
The sources are Wikipedia and Myth Busters (Chinese water torture and # of nations and terrorist organizations) and a July 28, 1986 New Yorker article (film comedies used for torture)
This Place Has Been Condemned
By David Huberman
An old art deco movie theater in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York soon to be demolished. Black and white films flashing on the screen. Intertitles are read by the audience except for those few that are sleeping, dreaming their own motion pictures on the astral plane. The light from the projector room illuminates the people sitting in the rows of red velvet seats, revealing happy faces, some with alert expressions, others totally relaxed. Some are so caught up in the animated illusions their countenances shine with unrestrained passion. This disintegrating movie palace might be the only place they are allowed to reveal emotions. Outside the old theater, they become strangers to each other, but inside this house of images, they can live out their fantasies through Chaplin, Keaton, Gable, Bogart and Monroe. Though their world mostly extends to the boundary lines of Kew Gardens, Queens, in this haven of darkness and bright visual impressions, they are transported to the jungles of Peru, the Egyptian Pyramids and Casablanca, city of intrigue and romance. When you enter this ancient cinema, leave your worldly troubles with the ticket taker. Reality will wait for you patiently, just outside the exit door.