WASHINGTON - After weeks of trying to decide exactly what distinguishes "torture" from the more socially acceptable practice of near drowning, government leaders are considering the sliding scale of morality employed by vegetarians.
Just as not all vegetarians follow the same rules, neither would all interrogators. Some vegetarians eat no meat at all, while others eat fish or chicken. Accordingly, some "interrogarians" would question non-brutally, while others would treat themselves once in a while to forcing a subject not to sleep or slamming him into a wall 226 times.
The new face of interrogation?
This approach is expected to help the debate over whether information obtained using torture kept the country safe for the past eight years. "People used to hate torturers," said a spokesman. "Now we're hoping they'll just be annoyed, the way you roll your eyes whenever you have to pick a restaurant with a vegan."
Instituting a sliding, fuzzy scale would also ease the tension over whether to punish officials who practiced torture in the past (i.e., two years ago). "Vegetarians don't condemn another vegetarian just because he once went to Wendy's for a double Baconator," said the spokesman. "We think it's the same, sort of."
Members of both parties said it was necessary for the U.S. to have a torture policy that eschews harsh techniques, while still allowing them here and there. "Look, as a nation we've got a lot of violence in our diet already," said the spokesman. "It's not like we're going waterboard. I mean, overboard."