Your RDA of Irony

Enhanced Interrogations Circa 1490

November 16, 1491:  Libel Epoque

Waterboarding works. Without its stimulating edification, Benito Garcia might never have realized that he was the leader of a Jewish conspiracy to murder Christian children and seize control of Spain. Until June 1490 Senor Garcia may have been under the impression that he was only an itinerant woolcomber. His education began with a robbery by some laudably pious thieves. As they ransacked the wayfarer’s possessions, they found a morsel of bread resembling a sacramental wafer. Had Garcia stolen it from a church in order to perform some evil Jewish ritual on the sanctified carbohydrate? The thieves decided to turn Garcia over to the authorities; and the authorities saw only the heresy rather than the irony. Furthermore, if this was heresy, then it was a matter for the Inquisition.

Initially, Garcia seemed unaware of his obvious guilt. Flogging failed to enlighten him. Then the rack also proved uninstructive. However, the water torture convinced Garcia of his guilt. Of course, Garcia’s crime required accomplices; he was persuaded to come up with four names. These people, once they had their tutorials, also had some remarkable self-realizations. More culprits were named and more crimes were confessed. After an edifying soaking, and in hopes of avoiding another, a Yuce Franco admitted to killing a Christian child near La Guardia, Castille as part of a magic spell that would make Spain’s Christians disappear.

Franco’s sensational admission required everyone to be interrogated again. They were persuaded to confess the murder, but no one could agree on the details. They did not concur on the name or description of the child, the site of the crime, or where the body was placed. Even the Spanish civil authorities were uncooperative; they failed to find any reports of a missing child in or near La Guardia. However, the Inquisition decided that those details were irrelevant. The confessions sufficed and could be taken as gospel.

On this day in 1491 Benito Garcia, Yuce Franco, and three others were burned at the stake. So were three corpses of men who had failed to survive until their execution. The trial and auto da fe occurred in La Guardia, but the accusations were known throughout Spain, spread and incited by the Inquisition. Expounding this “conspiracy” as proof of the Jews’ danger and enmity, Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada demanded the Jews’ expulsion from Spain. Isabella was gullible enough to agree. Ferdinand was craven enough to concur.

So, as Torquemada would have told you, waterboarding works.

  1. Mike Field says:

    That is irony on its keenest edge. I am so ashamed of my country.

  2. The Vatican actually was dismayed by the Spanish Inquisition. Several Popes–including the usually notorious Alexander VI–criticized the horrors in Spain. However, the Spanish Inquisition was autonomous, and the Vatican had no say in the personel or policies of the Spanish “Holy Office.”

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