The battle between former Vice President Cheney and President Obama has heated up with dueling speeches on the subject of “Torture: Fun, but for whom?”

Cheney has taken the position that the more we torture foreigners who fall into our clutches, the safer we are, and the Geneva Conventions be damned. Obama begs to differ. But the extreme interrogation techniques are actually not torture, Bush administration advisers explained a couple of years ago, because they do not produce a level of pain equivalent to the amputation of a limb or the failure of a major organ (they really said that, no joke!)

After all, a CIA source, who wished to remain anonymous, explained, the methods used, including waterboarding, putting weird-looking insects into a confined space with the prisoner, slaps, stress positions and sleep deprivation have been blown up out of proportion by the pinko media. Frequently, Gitmo authorities’ well-intentioned attempts at improving conditions for the prisoners have been misconstrued as abuse.

* On “waterboarding,” he explained that this referred to water-skiing and surfboarding expeditions on which prisoners were taken as part of the extensive and humane rest and recreation program that Gitmo authorities arranged for its involuntary guests.

* Though “putting brightly colored insects in with the prisoners,” the truth-telling CIA contact explained that these creatures were merely several species of the beautiful tropical butterflies for which Eastern Cuba is justly famous. “The prisoners sometimes watch them fluttering about for hours on end,” he said. “It’s better than nature programs on cable TV.” Besides, he added, “pets are good for your mental health.”

* Subjecting prisoners to “slaps” merely refers to the open-palmed “high five” greetings with which guards and prisoners eventually began to greet each other, in a spirit of high camaraderie.

* ”Stress positions” refer merely to the state-of-the-art workout equipment with which prisoners have been provided, enabling them to strengthen the muscles of every part of their bodies. “You should see their abs,” added the anonymous source, adding with a shrug, “No pain, no gain.”

* As for “sleep deprivation”, my source commented, “Hey, who wants to sleep when he’s having so much fun?”

And as for closing the Gitmo dungeon, our source says, “Several of the prisoners told us that if they were taken away from the paradise of Gitmo and sent to places like Duluth, Minnesota, they would complain to the Red Cross.’

“Now THAT would be torture,” the anonymous source quoted one prisoner as saying.