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Does changing the name make it more acceptable
1.       lessluv
1052 posts
 14 May 2009 Thu 02:08 am

The semantics of torture

´Enhanced interrogation techniques´ is a euphemism.

Afew extracts

By any common-sense standard, the abusive interrogation techniques employed by the CIA to elicit information from terrorist suspects – including waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, forced standing and confinement in a box – are torture. Employed individually or in combination, they were intended to break prisoners and achieve total submission. Some were adapted from methods used by the Chinese during the Korean war. Anyone who doubts this should pause, strip away the irrelevant subtexts of 24 or "they had it coming" and ask themselves: What if my loved one were waterboarded?

Yet major media outlets have taken a bizarrely agnostic position on this question. They routinely refer to those techniques as "enhanced" or "harsh" interrogation. The word "torture" remains off-limits. Why?

The Obama administration has labelled the techniques torture and banned them. But because Dick Cheney and other former Bush officials and their allies in the Republican party resolutely maintain that they are not torture, the media, bound to traditions of balance and fairness, feels it must play the issue down the middle. That means employing euphemisms as the ugly revelations pour forth that inch closer to the T-word – yet never quite reach it.

It´s time for the media to re-examine the assumptions that led it into this trap. The left/right balancing that traditional media outlets undertake is contingent on the existence of a broad political and social consensus that hasn´t existed for 40 years. And the perception-of-bias issue must be weighed against a newspaper´s basic obligation to tell its readers the truth, and to not filter information using euphemisms coined to obscure it.

By dancing endlessly around the question of whether "brutal" equals "torture", media outlets only damage their own credibility.

Full Article Here


the UN stance is "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."


So does calling it a different name change what we can get away with???Confused


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