Whose sex scandal is bigger: Jacko’s or Rummy’s?
CRITICIZE LAWYERS’ PROSE all you want, but some court documents are hot, aren’t they? In the following passage from a notorious current case, the language may be stiff, but you just know that steamy details are coming:
Defendants intended to, and did, cause offensive sexual contacts with intimate parts of another, including but not limited to Plaintiffs. Defendants acted to cause Plaintiffs’ imminent apprehension of harmful and offensive contact with their intimate parts.
We’re talking about Michael Jackson and his flunkies, right?
Wrong. It’s about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his flunkies.
A hard look at allegations in the current cases of America’s most notable penile colonies—Jackson’s Neverland and Rumsfeld’s Abu Ghraib—shows that Jacko could have taken some tips from the U.S. soldiers’ sex play with Iraqis.
Not much genital-to-genital action at either playground, apart from some rapes at Abu Ghraib. But lots of dickie playing at both places.
So how do the Jacko and Rummy scandals measure up against each other? My comparison is based on The Smoking Gun’s Jacko coverage, and the Center for Constitutional Rights’ page on Saleh v. Titan, just one of the lawsuits circling like buzzards over Abu Ghraib.
Bad boys, bad boys. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Jacko has firmly declared his innocence. Rumsfeld, for his part, is not a defendant in the Saleh civil case, filed in California on behalf of former Abu Ghraib prisoners. But he’s the ultimate boss of the soldiers and the private contractors from thriving defense contractors Titan and CACI who are alleged to have supervised, or participated in, the weenie play, torture, and other activities at the Baghdad prison. The defendants, including corporate citizens Titan and CACI, firmly deny wrongdoing. Rumsfeld, of course, has continually blamed “rogue” soldiers while defending the Pentagon’s harsh interrogation policies, which flout international law.
By the way, Jacko and Rummy both firmly defend their actions as appropriate.
Now for the juicy stuff, which just may show you that you’re obsessed with the wrong sex scandal.
Jackson, for instance, is accused of showing porn to kids to stimulate them. The Smoking Gun describes the King of Pop this way:
A man who conducted drinking games with minors and surfed porn with them on a laptop in his Neverland Ranch bedroom . . .
So what? The soldiers used real live women and an improvised sexual device (ISD). From the Saleh suit:
. . . stripping him naked and attempting to make him masturbate in front of women and fondling his penis with a stick so as to give him an erection.
Jacko supposedly tried to educate his companions about sex, but he spared the rod before spoiling the child. The American soldiers at Abu Ghraib, on the other hand, incorporated the utensils of learning into their sex play with the Iraqis:
. . . playing with his penis with a pen, writing on his buttocks . . .
As for Jacko’s “drinking games” with boys? Well, the U.S. soldiers played sex-and-drinking games with the Iraqis, though there was no “Jesus Juice” (Jacko’s term for wine) involved, only water. Things did, however, get a little rough, even without the alcohol:
The Torture Conspirators poured cold water on Plaintiff Neisef and the other detainees, wrapped electric wire around their penises, and gave them electric shocks. Plaintiff Neisef started to bleed and suffered a ruptured vein on his penis. The Torture Conspirators refused to tend his wounds.
Guess the soldiers weren’t into the kind of grooming that Jacko allegedly performed:
The younger boy also said that when his brother fell asleep with his head on Jackson’s chest, he saw the performer licking the top of his sibling’s head. In an interview with investigators, the boy “physically showed us Michael’s action by sticking his tongue out and moving his head, much like a cat would do when grooming,” according to one investigative affidavit. The children’s mother said that she, too, saw the alleged licking.
Maybe Jacko was just emulating the animals at Neverland’s zoo. But, hey, kids, there were doggies at Abu Ghraib, and the soldiers went way beyond Jacko, even using them to enhance foreplay:
The Torture Conspirators forced Plaintiff Neisef to touch other detainees’ body parts by threatening him with attack dogs.
This is the kind of stuff you want to keep private. In the case of Neverland, TSG notes:
Jackson told him not to tell his parents what they were doing.
The U.S. soldiers weren’t as discreet—they even took photos that wound up posted around the world and busted the whole scandal loose. But their bosses have been private. Last spring, Doug Feith even banned talk of Abu Ghraib inside the Pentagon.
By that time, several internal investigations had already been completed, and Rumsfeld knew about the sex games because that’s practically all the investigators talked about.
Of course, how sex is talked about is crucial. At Neverland, Jacko reportedly talked to his boys about how same-gender sex play is natural. Well, the soldiers at Abu Ghraib had a handicap in getting that point across: the language barrier. I mean, how do say “Blow me” in Arabic? Is that in an Army field manual? So, the soldiers’ actions regarding male-on-male sex had to speak louder than words. As a result, the latent troops went blatant. As translator/defendant Adel L. Nakhla said:
They made them do strange exercises by sliding on their stomach, jump up and down, throw water on them and made them some wet, called them all kinds of names such as “gays,” do they like to make love to guys . . .
Meanwhile, back at Neverland, there was a full supply of sex toys to help things along. And Jacko did allegedly expend quite a bit of effort to stay up late with the kids and shoot the shit with them. The soldiers had the same goal—keep their charges up late—and they didn’t have any fancy toys; they made do with what they had:
SPC Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company, stated in her sworn statement regarding the incident where a detainee was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis, “that her job was to keep detainees awake.” She stated that MI [Military Intelligence] was talking to CPL Grainer. She stated: “MI wanted to get them to talk.”
Or, just lie there, naked or barely clothed. Whatever. Kind of like when, back at the ranch, Jacko supposedly crept into bed and dry-humped a young companion from behind. Or the alleged golf cart incident:
Jackson reached over with his left hand and touched [the boy’s] “testicles and penis” over his clothes.
The soldiers weren’t so coy. They got everybody naked and helped their charges get their freak on. Witnesseth this biblical-sounding passage:
Forcing Plaintiff Saleh to lay naked over another male with his penis touching the buttocks of the male, causing both males to cry profusely and ask for forgiveness from God.
The only successful “privatizing” that the U.S. has accomplished in Iraq involved the Iraqis’ private parts. In a similar attempt to bring his charges up to date with new ways of organizing their personal business of wanking, Jacko shared computer technology by surfing for porn with them. The U.S. soldiers, meanwhile, found another way of introducing Iraqis to the digital era:
Placing him naked on a table, face down with a hood over his head, and grabbing his penis and inserting fingers up his anus.
Jacko supposedly got pretty oral at the ranch, but again the soldiers stack up well:
Putting sandbags on his head, stripping him naked, forcing him onto his hands and knees, piling other naked prisoners on top of him, taking pictures from front and back views of the pile of naked prisoners, forcing him to stroke his penis, pretending to put his penis in the mouth of a guard while taking pictures . . .
When it came to just getting everyone naked, hell, that was standard operating procedure at Abu Ghraib. By comparison, Jacko was an amateur, according to the allegations:
The younger brother said that when they saw Jackson naked (except for a pair of socks), they quickly looked away. The boy then said Jackson sat down with them and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay. You guys should do the same.” He then claimed that Jackson’s penis was erect during the incident, but told investigators that he could not provide a description because he “only glanced at it.” But, motioning with his hands, the child was able to offer an approximation of its length.
“Length”? The American soldiers took that topic seriously, shooting photos of naked Iraqis and their penises and even trying to help the Iraqis measure up:
Stretching Plaintiff Saleh’s penis with a rope—
Plus a little BDSM for spice:
—and beating it with a stick.
Speaking of beating it, millions have loved Jacko’s music and have bought his albums, making him fabulously wealthy. But millions have thrilled to Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush regime; they just got re-elected. If you measure success in terms of money, I’ll bet you dollars to dinars that Rumsfeld controls more money than Jacko right now: The cost of the war is almost $6 billion a month.
Seems clear that Jacko’s sex scandal is pretty much dwarfed by Rummy’s. All this talk about “Jesus Juice”—the wine that Jacko put into his boys’ soda cans—is titillating, but c’mon. Is the King of Pop really such a naïf? You have to say, though, that Jacko at least acted as if he were Anti-Beaver Cleaver. TSG notes:
Jacko gave boys nicknames like Doo Doo Head and Blowhole . . .
Compare that with the soldiers’ tougher kind of love:
Subjecting him to dehumanizing name-calling using Arabic phrases such as
, which means “bitch,” and
, meaning worthless scum.
At Neverland, you didn’t hear that kind of harsh guy-to-guy talk about, say, sex:
[Jackson] quizzed them about whether they masturbated and if “white stuff” came out.
Our spunky soldiers, on the other hand, were once again more action than talk:
Forcing Plaintiff Saleh to ejaculate in a plastic cup and pouring the semen over his head and body.
They all seem to have been crank wankers—Jacko and the soldiers. But Jacko has the edge as a crank yanker, calling up women (in front of the boys) and telling them, “Your pussy stinks!”
C’mon, isn’t there some sort of middle ground when it comes to sex juices? You know, behavior that’s not creepily juvenile, like Jacko’s, or creepily sadistic and latent, like that of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib?
The answer is yes. The only thing Bill Clinton tried to conquer was a pliable intern who tried to conquer him first. Win-win, they call that in government circles.
Clinton brought new meaning to the term “Oval Office.” Here’s the smoking gun from the Starr Report that also contains my favorite sentence in presidential oral history:
The President inserted a cigar into Ms. Lewinsky’s vagina, then put the cigar in his mouth and said: “It tastes good.”
But forget the Oval Office. And forget Neverland. The penal code was abused a hell of lot more at Abu Ghraib than at either of those two places, as far as I can tell.
Too bad the Republicans won’t allow full Congressional hearings into Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and Rummy’s other Club Dread playgrounds around the world, including the notorious Salt Pit torture chamber in Afghanistan, a creepshow that Dana Priest explored in yesterday’s Washington Post. As Priest noted:
In recent weeks, the ranking Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence panels have asked their Republican chairmen to investigate the CIA’s detention and interrogations. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has declined the request from Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.).
The press ought to be screaming for such a probe. Unfortunately, the sex-drenched Abu Ghraib scandal may seem like mostly old news to the U.S. media. But not to everybody. Only yesterday, the ACLU and Human Rights First announced the filing of an explosive new series of lawsuits against Rumsfeld himself. Don’t blame me if that development took a back seat in media coverage to Jacko’s case.
Look what happened during the Clinton era. The right-wingers managed to rake Clinton over the coals during nationally televised hearings for being a devil with the blue dress. Cum stains from consensual blow jobs. Who cares? The press obsessed, but the public didn’t give a shit, in the final analysis. I guess we just need a trial or an impeachment to make people pay attention to the much more demented diddling at places like Abu Ghraib.
¶ Guessing game (see above): The answer is Abu Ghraib. The drawing is part of an official document, a slide show prepared by U.S. Military Intelligence officers to illustrate the 20-step “Interrogation Process” at the prison. This particular drawing illustrates step No. 19: “Remains at Ganci [one of the prison’s sectors] until submitted before Detainee Release Authority.” Note the cute gown that’s apparently worn by all these foreigners whose country we unjustifiably invaded.
The document, part of the Taguba report posted by the Center for Public Integrity, that shows all 20 steps, plus the accompanying illustrations.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 4, 2005