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The Torture Tapes

December 18, 2007
  1. Back in 2002, the CIA recorded some interrogations.
  2. These interrogations included the use of “harsh interrogation methods.”
  3. The “harsh interrogation methods” included waterboarding.
  4. Waterboarding has been described in two ways.
  5. Waterboarding: placing a piece of cloth over the subject’s face and pouring some water on it. Simulated drowning.
  6. Waterboarding: Actual drowning. The lungs actually begin to fill with water, though under “medical” supervision. Torture. Period.
  7. The tapes were destroyed.
  8. The tapes were destroyed by the CIA to protect its interrogators from potential prosecution.

What. Respectfully, Dear Reader. The. Fuck. —do you think was on those tapes?

Would CIA officials have feared for the prosecution of their interrogators if the tapes depicted nothing more than the placing of a piece of cloth over a subject’s face and pouring some water on it?

No. The tapes either showed the true nature of waterboarding: that it is truly a torture. Or they showed other tortures.

To call waterboarding a torture is not controversial. It is not an extreme position. John McCain will tell you this. It is only controversial— hell, only up for discussion at all among allegedly sane people —in US politics and the media who love them.

I maintain the media have done this issue a serious disservice.

I maintain the media have done this issue a serious disservice with headlines like these:

  • US lawmakers pass bill to ban harsh CIA interrogation tactics
  • Lawmakers Back Limits on Interrogation Tactics
  • GOP seeks to restore harsh interrogation
  • CIA destroyed tapes showing harsh interrogations
  • CIA Admits It Destroyed Tapes of Harsh Interrogations

Tell me, would your thinking on this issue be any different if the same headlines read like this?

  • US lawmakers pass bill to ban CIA Torture
  • Lawmakers Back Limits on Torture
  • GOP seeks to restore Torture
  • CIA destroyed tapes showing Torture
  • CIA Admits It Destroyed Tapes of Torture

This is not to say, of course, that the media should revise their language to reflect my humble opinion. This is to say that rather than reflecting the slogans and lame-ass rationalizations of our leaders, perhaps the media should employ language that conveys THE FUCKING TRUTH.

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