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April 11, 2008

Call it What it is: Torture!
Posted by Adam Blickstein

AP has a follow-up on ABC's reporting that senior Administration officials, including Dick Cheney and Condi Rice, all were complicit in authorizing the "harsh interrogations" of detainees. While both the ABC and AP piece confirm what most assumed, that the egregious actions at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilties weren't merely the errant actions of a few low-level troops but part of a broad strategy from the White House to abrogate international law, American values, and moral decency, they both lack a crucial element: calling torture torture. They skirt around the truth, afraid of the "T" word for weak editorial reasons. The headlines of both articles are instructive:

(ABC) Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved 'Enhanced Interrogation'

(AP) Cheney, Others OK'd Harsh Interrogations

The body of evidence is pretty clear on this that the 'enhance interrogations' were in fact torture. And while further exposing these immoral and illegal actions is essential, doing so by using the same Administration language ("harsh tactics," "enhanced interrogation")  that got us into this moral and legal morass only compounds the problem. It helps to shield the Administration from true culpability and accountability.

History may look upon this Presidency's use of the 'fog of law' and 'fog of language' as central to their strategy on all the issues that have become prominent and controversial in the past decade: intelligence, war, detention and torture. But it may also look at the media (an industry where language itself is the linchpin) that has adopted the same dubious words, frames and phraseology, as simply an unassuming accomplice in the nefarious pursuits of this Presidency.


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Dubya is the torture president and he heads the torture administration.

Their motto: semper quiritatio. Always screaming.