Tortured by the Taliban Part 1 She was unconscious but the leather continued slashing her belly. Captain Lissel James, United States Air Force had endured the whipping longer than expected and her tormentor was inspired to guarantee that his victim would be in misery upon awakening. "That's enough," a calm Mid East accented voice ordered. "She'll be quite tender when she regains consciousness." Lissel's head hung limply against her chest. Her head was the only part of her body that was not held immobile. She had been affixed in an agonizing spread-eagled position against the cold stone wall made damp from her pain-induced perspiration and stagnant water thrown on her in an attempt to keep her conscious. "She asked her god for help on several occasions eh?" her tormentor asked the Taliban witnesses to Lissel's torture. The ten extremists witnessing the flogging chuckled mightily at their leader's humor. "Tighten her bindings, remove her clothing and let's see if we can regain her full attention," the tormentor called Assad ordered. Two of Assad's minions loosened then pulled taut the ropes holding Lissel's arms and legs distended from her body. Another lackey cut Lissels's one-piece flight suit from her and roughly shook her head until her eyes fluttered open. When she began to moan, she was offered bottled water that she greedily swallowed. The Taliban in the cave enjoyed the site of a naked western woman and lewd comments were mumbled accompanied by soft laughter. In another section of the cave, Lissel's companion, first lietenant Anita Simpson hung by her wrists four feet over a cooking fire. She reamined clothed but a black cloth had beed tied over her head to prevent her seeing what was being done to Lissel. As she gulped, Assad leaned close to her and stated, "I assume you will now give me the locations of your comrade infidels." Lissel continued drinking until she began choking and the water was withdrawn. The tautness of her racked form would not allow her to draw a full breath to expel the water that had accidentally entered her lungs and her coughing spell continued for several seconds. Finally, her choking fit was over and she hung in her bonds wheezing. "You may speak now," Assad said. "I..I don't know where ...my friends...my friends are"...Lissel answered in a rasping voice. "You continue to lie," said Assad. "You will die alone then. Take her to the table." Two Taliban unfastened the whimpering woman from the wall and carried her limp form to a nearby sturdy wooden table where they placed her roughly on her back. The tabletop measured about one foot in diameter yet stood four feet tall. Lissel was placed so just the small of her back rested on the table and her arms and legs were pulled underneath and tied to the bottoms of the four table legs. Her shoulders and head drooped down from the table. Assad wrapped a length of rope tightly around Lissel's neck restricting her breathing and constricting blood flow to her head. The loose end of the rope was held taut by one of Assad's men. As her back arched across the tabletop, Lissel's breasts and belly were pushed proud. "I will give you a final opportunity to reveal you fellow Christians' location before I remove your udders," threatened Assad. Lissel bucked and bellowed protests in response until the rope around her neck was tightened. A final scream died in her throat as a result of the strangulation as a dagger pushed slowly into her right breast until metal met bone. The pain unleashed another bucking frenzy that was again halted by a strong pull at her neck. The knife was withdrawn and the constriction to her neck slackened. Lissel was then free to scream and writhe in agony. As she thrashed, Assad commented, "You are bleeding badly from only a single cut witch. The pain is intense I think but nothing compared to what you will endure unless you speak!" Lissel kept her eyes shut tight and sobbed breathlessly that she didn't know where her fellow airmen were. The events of the last 48 hours flashed through Lissle's mind in an instant. Tall, lean and fit, Lissel was a redhead with alabaster skin. She recalled taking her position as a navigator aboard the big C-17 transport plane and taking off from England to deliver food and medicine to Afghanistan. She remembered the plane taking a shuddering violently as the Russian-made surface to air missile struck the tail section. She recalled nothing else until the Assad was in her face demanding to know where her fellow crewmembers were. She hoped allied forces rescued them; however, in all probability they were probably dead as a result of the crash. Terrible searing pain to her breast brought Lissel immediate back to the present. Assad had again plunged his dagger into the already pierced breast. This time he left it embedded to the hilt then slapped the handle. As the dagger quivered amidst the bloody breast tissue, Assad motioned to a minion who heaved on the rope encircling Lissels neck. Simultaneously, Assad linked his hands together and raising them above his head, smasked them into Lissel's abdomen. Lissel went limp as her bowels emptied and urine shot from between her widespread thighs. As Lissel lied near death, Assad ordered Anita lowered and her head covering removed. As the sack was lifted, Anita had been positioned to clearly see the tortured form of her friend. She instinctually gasped at the sight and her knees buckled at the sight of a knife stuck in her comrade's chest. "Sow," growled Assad, "your friend was very strong and stupid. If she is not dead yet, she certainly will be unless you tell us where the other infidels from your aircraft are located." As the sight of her tortured friend mingled in her mind with extreme fear for herself, Anita felt the bile rise in her throat and she began to wretch. About a short bout of heaving, Assad approached her. "I know there were many more of you on that plane," Assad stated. "You two pigs were captured very quickly by the villagers and we have noted no rescue attempts by your military. I know that during your escape and evasion training, you are taught to have pre-arranged meeting places. I want to know these positions immediately." Anita was numb with fear as she continued to stare between Assad and Lissel's battered body. "Now!" Assad screamed. "Tell me now!" Anita stuttered out, "I'm Air Force Lieutenant...Anita Simpson, service number 467-62..." A violent slap across her face silenced Anita. Assad was enraged. "You are not a prisoner of war! You are a dirty bitch infidel criminal attacking my army and people! You have no "rights," you are not a soldier, you are a beast woman-tell me what I want to know!" Torn between her duty responsibilities and her fear, Anita was too frightened to speak quickly. The momentary delay was seen as refusal and Assad ordered her stripped. "Whip her then roast her," Assad ordered. The lieutenant was immediately stripped and her wrists tightly bound behind her. Her elbows were then drawn together and ropes cinched tight. A filthy rag was stuffed in her mouth and eight terrosits began flogging her as she raced around the cave. For over 20 minutes she attempted to flee the vicious lashes to her body. However soon pain and exhaustion melded together to reduce her to an unmoving pile of pity. "Sting her up," demanded Assad. His followers picked her up from the floor removed the cloth from her mouth and drug her back to the open cooking fire Anita was suspended over earlier. This time however, rather than being suspended by the wrists, a noose was tied around her neck and she was quickly hoisted flailing over the fire. At Assad's nod, the rope was released and Anita's raw, bleeding form hurdled onto the blazing branches below. Red-hot embers embedded themselves into Anita as she screamed and rolled off the pyre. As she struggled to her knees, the rope went taut and she was again pulled into the air and the process was repeated. The pressure to her throat from the lynching, the pains to her body from the whipping and the horrible searing from the flames and battering from the falls were unimaginable to Anita. The horror of it coupled with the awful screams the Taliban emitted during her torment had Anita dazed.
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