Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Broken News: Inmates agree, Cheney “one hard ass screw”

HOUSTON—After last week’s indictments of both Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for their involvements in the ownership of private prison companies running federal detention centers, today brought an even more stunning revelation regarding Mr. Cheney’s association. As it turns out, not only was Mr. Cheney involved in the ownership of the prison organizations, but the Vice President had taken an active interest in the day-to-day operations of these penitentiaries, often taking on the duties of a prison guard.

“Boss Cheney? Fuck me, he was a hard-ass screw,” recalled former Briscoe County Prison inmate John McGraw, now doing a ten-year felony bit in Dallas for promoting the use and ownership of more than six dildos. “He used to patrol the yard wearing nothing but his hat, belt, and baton. He was just daring anyone to take a crack at him, so he could make an example of you. He’d toss cells, deride your shank-making ability, smack you around a bit, drink your toilet wine. He wanted everyone to know who ran that prison.”

An examination of public records revealed Cheney working as a either a full or part-time guard over the past three decades in over 13 separate prisons in 7 different states. Oddly, there are no official pay records, suggesting Cheney did this work for free. While no official performance reviews of Mr. Cheney are available, those willing to come forward describe the almost preternatural calling the Vice President had for the job.

“Preternatural? I don’t know if I’d use that term. Maniacally sadistic, maybe” observed Ben Palmer, currently out on parole in Abilene after his conviction for shooting a buffalo out of a second story window. “You know those crazed, corrupt prison guards that are in every prison movie? I’ve heard half of them were based on him. Shawshank’s Byron Hadley? I'm pretty sure Stephen King had to tone down Cheney’s behavior to not make it seem so cartoonishly violent. Christ, I heard one time he dropped a safe on a guy.”

While King did not wish to be interviewed for this piece, sources close to the author revealed Mr. Palmer’s story to be largely true. The character of Hadley was chiefly based on King’s experiences with the Vice President while the author was serving time in Bangor Penitentiary for illegally pushing a live moose out of a plane in 1983. Others claim the Hadley character was a composite of both King’s tenure under Cheney’s brutal command and historical accounts of famed Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann.

“Some people, they just don’t appreciate this man’s contributions enough,” suggested prison historian David Griggs. “You want to focus on the violence, rights violations, and the absurdity of a sitting Vice President being intimately involved in private prison management, fine. I just don’t think we’re focusing enough on his legacy of the prison guard clichés and tropes Mr. Cheney wove into the fabric of Americana. King and Shawshank were just the tip of the iceberg.”

Griggs began listing them. “You know where the hero is about to get his ass beat by a group of crooks and the guard either turns away or vacates the area? Cheney invented that! Walking new inmates out in front of the rest of the prison? Cheney even coined the term 'fresh fish.' Destroying the last hope of a man on the edge by killing his beloved pet or stopping him from doing the painting or woodworking that keeps him sane? Keeping caged animals on his desk as a metaphor? Creating scenarios where crawling through miles of human fecal matter is preferable to spending one more second in that godforsaken cage? He invented them all. Show some proper respect!”

Sources say Cheney eventually tired of working over inmates, dirty dealings with wardens, and dangling smart, wife-killin’ bankers off the roofs of the main building, and decided to move into prison management so as to better transition into profiting on all aspects of American misery. These sources call Cheney's prison guard experience a "phase," a three-decade phase that indelibly marked the prisons of our country with extraordinary guard-related violence.

Legal scholars are unclear what effect these new revelations will have on the pending indictment and have dubbed the revelations “wholly unsurprising” and deemed it “impossible, statistically speaking, for anything to give the American public a lower opinion about the Vice President.” The case against Mr. Cheney and Gonzalez is expected to be thrown out as the result of a predictable unconditional pardon early next year.

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