The website of ex-CIA ‘Queen of Torture’ – turned life coach

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Photo illustration: Elise Swain/The Intercept; Photos: Getty Images

What is the CIA what do the torturers do when they retire? According to a new Reuters article on Alfreda Scheuer, one possibility is to become a beauty and life coach for middle-aged women.

Scheuer, née Bikowsky, who spoke to journalist Aram Roston in her very first interview, retired from the agency in 2021. Today, she speaks proudly of her participation in the notorious rendition program, of CIA detention and interrogation in the years immediately following 9/11. According to Scheuer, “I wasn’t sidelined. I didn’t bury my head in the sand. Her legacy in the CIA inspired Maya, the character of Jessica Chastain, in the film “Zero Dark Thirty”, as well as Diane Marsh in the television series “The Looming Tower”. Today, she is married to Michael Scheuer, the former head of the agency’s division tasked with tracking Osama bin Laden, and who has a story of her own.

Her work also led to her being dubbed the “Queen of Torture” by The New Yorker. According to reports surrounding the conclusive 2014 Senate investigation into the actions of the CIA, Scheuer was one of the main forces behind the waterboarding of American prisoners; the arrest and execution of a German citizen by the agency; a wild goose hunt for al-Qaeda in Montana; and attempts to lie to Congress about the effectiveness of torture.

But now Scheuer is a life coach with a #hashtag #heavy Instagram account, where she writes that “even in my former career, my passion for all things beauty was well known, and the women who worked with me sought my advice and saw that it was okay to be both boss and daughter.

What does her company’s website, YBeUBeauty, look like? Currently it seems to be down. You can check out an archived version or, if you’re like us, imagine what her beauty blogs could say. We emphasize that the writing below is parody. Please do not sue and/or torture us.

quarantine

Do good by feeling good

Your children have left home. Your husband is engrossed in his career and his online community. But where is life taking YOU?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered how you even sleep at night? Do you see fine lines, tired eyes and graying hair and wonder why the fake media keeps calling you a freak?

Well, I don’t, and I can teach you not to either! Maybe now is the time for you to start trusting so much that the mistakes of your past just don’t matter.

Hi. I am Freda. After decades of working in the most Stygian corners of recent US history, I’m ready for a new and frightening change! I want to help women – women like you – embrace their true femininity, start a new mid-life chapter, and embrace their tortured or torturous past. Or we can just cut to the chase and focus on the torture part, because that’s where I have the most experience. Anyway –

Maybe there’s always been that little voice in your head whispering: I would like to join the exciting, fast-paced and glamorous world of international war crimes. Perhaps you are considering it for the first time right now.

What matters is that we are here together, you and I, right now, in this dark, dark place.

My coaching can teach you all this and more!

  • Eight hairstyles that will make your victim, even if your lackeys stuff him in a little “dog box”, think “Damn, she looks good”
  • What mascara to wear while your most likely innocent prisoner stares at you desperately from behind barbed wire in Guantánamo Bay
  • Easy recipes for “rectal feeding”, which is exactly what it sounds like

More importantly, I will help you understand that you are part of a long tradition of strong women throughout history, doing what needed to be done!

About Freda, me!

Some have called me the “Queen of Torture”. It’s frankly insulting. I’m the Empress of torture.

I was recruited for the CIA in 1988 by Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, a famous agent who helped organize the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s and later admitted that they murdered doctors, nurses and judges. While I liked Dewey, I strongly disagreed with his tactics. It’s much better to keep people alive because you can’t make the dead give you useless or false information with no intelligence value just to please stop the pain.

In 1996, I joined the section of the CIA responsible for tracking Osama bin Laden. It was run by Michael Scheuer, then my future husband and now 100% crazy. For example, in 2018 he started foaming at the mouth in anticipation of President Donald Trump killing “a long, very specific list” of Americans, and fantasized about “the pure, no, the Absolute joy and satisfaction to be had from seeing great piles of dead American citizen tyrants.

You see why we get along so well! Plus, he’s great in QAnon; sometimes I slip into an ultra-realistic tight mask and a John F. Kennedy Jr. jumpsuit to keep our marriage alive. I know this country is grateful to have had individuals such as Michael and myself on the ramparts, guarding you all while you slept.

Speaking of which, in 2000 our division knew that two of the future 9/11 hijackers had visas to enter the United States. My direct report and I prevented the FBI from learning this. Why? Certainly not because we were hoping to recruit the hijackers and have them infiltrate Al-Qaeda. It would have been one of the biggest bullshit in American history, and so obviously didn’t happen, and insinuating it did is legally actionable.

As for my involvement in the torture program in the 2000s, you can find out all about it via the Senate report, or at least you could if my name wasn’t completely redacted.

Plus, I know a ton about skincare, so you should hire me if you’re looking for someone with a really unusual skill set. For example: polyhydroxy acid is the best way to give you this right after waterboarding Costs watch. Any product containing PHA is a must in your beauty kit. Think of it as a secret weapon: your own personal little “dark site.”

lucky-is-a-CHOICE

FAQs

How long before I can start torturing people?

You absolutely cannot torture anyone even a little until your deposit is cleared.

What does the term “enhanced interrogation” mean?

That’s for me to find out and for you to find out! (It means “torture”.)

Why would I want to torture people?

To paraphrase George Mallory, the first man to climb Everest, you should want to torture people for being there. Right there, begging to be tortured.

Does torture work?

It absolutely works, depending on what you mean by “work”.

Isn’t that highly illegal?

You would think so! President Ronald Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1988, but the Bush administration kept waterboarding – I mean enhanced interrogation techniques – legal until the press found out. And my experience is, it turns out to be good. Not a single person even had to think about prison!

Aren’t you a walking and speaking example of what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil?

I’ve never read a single book and I don’t know what “the banality of evil” means.

Shouldn’t your husband be institutionalized?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha wheeeeeeeeeeeeee



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