(AD) January 11, 2005 — In tandem with the announced Guantánamo Bay prison expansion to accommodate permanent prisoners, who will stay without legal charges, the Bush Administration today announced the appointment of Franz Kafka (bio) to the newly created Pentagon position of Director of the Indeterminate Security Detention Committee. The newly created post will oversee the Guantánamo Bay prison as well as other American controlled detention sites located outside of U.S. territories.
President George W. Bush praised his new appointee, saying, “Kafka has a presents of mind, I mean a real gift. He really understands what we’re trying to do here – what our plans for anti-terrorism detention are all about.”
Franz Kafka, until now a mid-level bureaucrat in the Czech Republic, where he worked in the equivalent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has been chiefly notable for writing a number of little-noticed books dealing with the justice system and prison management, including discussions of torture. President Bush, in the press conference announcing Kafka’s appointment, remarked that he had read a number of Kafka’s writings personally, and that much of his administration’s detention policy was influence by cabinet-level discussion of the books.
Attempts to reach Franz Kafka for comment were unsuccessful.
Senate Democrats, who said Kafka would be approved, nonetheless had reservations about his writings. One experienced senator from a small east coast state said he believed Kafka had the qualifications for the job, but was unsure whether Kafka endorsed the techniques of justice and torture in his books.
“I’m going to say to him,” said the senator, “‘Hey buddy – you know we love you, but I need you to level with me a bit. I need you to tell me if you plan to treat people like you describe in your studies – like In the Penal Colony and The Trial. I need you to help me out here and tell me what you really think.’”
Franz Kafka’s senate confirmation started Monday with less than usual notice from congressional members. Key members of both parties would not speculate on an end date, saying the confirmation process would run “as long as it takes.”