Thursday, May 13, 2004

Semantics

I was reading the NYT and found this article which struck me for several reasons. The first is the cute way it lists the traditional means of torture, like pushing somebody's head under water and stopping short of drowning him, and then calls it "stopping short of torture". It does say that "defenders of the tecniques" are saying that, but it consistently uses "tecniques" throughout the article. I'm left wondering what do you have to do to qualify as "torture".

The second is this priceless little bit:


Concerns are mounting among C.I.A. officers about the potential
consequences of their actions. "Some people involved in this have been
concerned for quite a while that eventually there would be a new
president, or the mood in the country would change, and they would be
held accountable," one intelligence source said. "Now that's happening
faster than anybody expected."

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