Tag Archives: waterboarding

"Torture" vs. “enhanced interrogation techniques”

Disclosing the gay-bashing preacher who hires his own rent-boy is a satisfying feeling on a personal level. All cultures have a special distaste for the hypocritical and two-faced. So it is even more gratifying when journalists uncover the nation’s national and foreign policies that contradictory. They range from the absolute hypocritical to the simple inept.

It’s not clear what impact the reports will have ultimately, but two recent front-page reports in The New York Times revealed how our ostensible allies in the Kurdish region of Iraq are supplying oil to Iran in contravention of American calls for an embargo. The Times noted with interview and photos that this trade is not a surreptitious activity but a daily caravan of more than 1,000 oil tanker trucks traveling U.S. protected roads that are helping Iran sustain itself against the embargo.

Even more direct, the Times reported that the IRS allows tax deductions for religious groups who are funding Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian West Bank contrary to U.S. declarations, agreements and policy interests in the region.

You could find dozens of examples of such two-faced policy but finding the journalists, the institutions willing to fund that type of international investigations and reporting is becoming more difficulty.

Not that the press couldn’t find its own hypocrisy and contradictions: A Harvard study showed that the news media generally stopped using the work “torture” after the Bush administration “enhanced interrogation techniques” and an actual policy were revealed. The administration insisted that those techniques, including waterboarding were not “torture,” and almost overnight the nation’s news media changed. It stopped using the word “torture” supposedly because it was challenged by Bush political interests. Never mind that the media has used the word for decades to the same interrogation style from the Middle Ages to Japanese treatment of American POWs in World War II.