Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sanitized For Your Protection

If you needed further evidence of how much of a bubble the residents of the Empire live, work, shop and play in, look no further than this piece appearing in the nation's paper of record. Purporting to discuss the issue of high governmental officials' involvement in the despicable practice of torturing suspects to obtain information (or, perhaps, just for the hell of it), the reporter cannot or has been forbidden to actually use the word "torture." So, what we have instead are the creative use of euphemisms: "brutal techniques," "harsh interrogation methods," "harsh treatment," "aggressive techniques," and finally, "abuse," this last coming from an actual person, Sen. Carl Levin, who should know better. Of course, this is not new, or novel, in any way; residents of the Empire do not wish to gaze upon the truth about themselves and their complicity in rape, murder, genocide, and torture in their Imperial adventures. Chaos could say a good deal more about how the words one uses defines their reality, limits their options for action, etc., but really, what would be the purpose? The most uncomfortable fact is that there exists in this benighted nation a large percentage of the population who approves of these barbaric practices, and why would anyone expect this to change?

2 comments:

DIYer said...

Tortured text.

There ought to be some journalistic law. Maybe they could punish the text-torturers by requiring them to proofread classified ads for a while...

Chaos said...

The nations paper of record "debates" the use of the word torture here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/opinion/26pubed.html?ref=opinion

(In a nutshell, they seem to be overly solicitous of delicate American sensibilitiess...unwittingly funny).