Torture by any other name…

Waterboarding is torture. It’s a well known and accepted fact by everyone except a small number of extremists like Dick Cheney, and unfortunately, editors of major newspapers like the Washington Post. The torture memos recently released by the Justice Department describe waterboarding, among other forms of torture. However, as one example in a pattern of underplaying torture committed by the U.S. Government, today in a news article the Washington Post referred to the techniques described in those memos as “harsh tactics that critics liken to torture”. This is akin to describing carbon dioxide as “an industrial byproduct that critics liken to pollution” or referring to current economic conditions as “a slowing of the market that critics liken to a recession”.

Of course you can find many people, even people in prominent or powerful positions, who believe carbon dioxide is not a pollutant (e.g. Senator James Inhofe), or who don’t characterize current economic conditions as a recession. But that does not justify presenting a widely-held and generally-accepted fact as a fringe belief. Waterboarding is widely and generally accepted to be torture, not “likened” to torture and not only by “critics”, just as carbon dioxide is not merely “likened” to pollution and not only by “critics”.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Post about this; I’ll let you know what happens.

  1. #1 written by Genug May 13th, 2009 at 22:51

    I like the analogies.

    RE Q
  2. #2 written by bioephemera May 16th, 2009 at 01:00

    Hope the letter gets in! Keep us posted.

    RE Q
  3. #3 written by moira May 16th, 2009 at 21:05

    i “liken” this post to genius. but i am not a “critic.” you get published?

    RE Q

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