More ‘Torture’ Guidance

Do not refer to what was done as “enhanced interrogation techniques” unless you’re explaining that is the term the CIA uses for the practices it believes were legal.

Instead, use such words and phrases as:

– “Interrogation techniques.”

– “Interrogations,” as Steve Inskeep did this morning when he introduced a report by simply saying “we’re going to sort out some of the facts behind a polarizing debate. It’s the debate over U.S. interrogations after nine-eleven.”

–  ”Brutal interrogation techniques / brutal interrogations.”

On “torture”: Once again, the word can be used.

Suggestions:

– As Robert Siegel did last April when he said there was “torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11.”

– Or by saying that “torture and other harsh [or brutal] methods” were used.

– Or by saying that detainees were “in some cases tortured.”

– Or as Steve did this morning when he said, “this week’s Senate report on U.S. interrogations is the latest stage in a decade-long debate. Americans have talked about torture in different ways, including debating whether to call it torture at all.”

– Or by introducing the fact that some of the practices were acts the U.S. has called torture when they were done by other nations.

Reminder: Though there are those who argue that the techniques were not torture in the legal sense of that word, Merriam-Webster defines torture as “the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something.”

(Memmos; Dec. 11, 2014)

December 11, 2014

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