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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Torture is Torture is Torture: We Have Become the Pot--What Do We Call the Kettle?

Virtually every tactic which the (New York Times) article describes the Iranians as using has been used by the U.S. during the War on Terror, while several tactics authorized by Bush officials (waterboarding, placing detainees in coffin-like boxes, hypothermia) aren't among those the article claims are used by the Iranians. Nonetheless, "torture" appears to be a perfectly fine term for The New York Times to use to describe what the Iranians do, but one that is explicitly banned to describe what the U.S. did. Despite its claimed policy, the NYT has also recently demonstrated its eagerness to use the word "torture" to describe these same tactics . . . when used by the Chinese against an American detainee.

Notably, the NYT article today seems to take particular offense that the Iranian Government is putting people on trial using confessions they obtained via torture ("the government planned to put on trial several Iranian employees of the British Embassy — after confessions were extracted"). Just two days ago, The Washington Post reported:

The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday accused the Obama administration of using statements elicited through torture to justify the confinement of a detainee it represents at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

link: The NYT calls Iranian interrogation tactics "torture" - Glenn Greenwald -


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