The American media noticeably avoided using the word “torture” after the United States government engaged in what was otherwise called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” So it was big news today that New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said the paper would, in fact, be using the word.
Baquet writes that the Times had “avoided a label that was still in dispute,” but says with the recent CIA report (that got President Obama to say “we tortured some folks”), the reporters and editors at the Times reviewed whether they can use the word “torture” or not.
Baquet concludes that after some debating on the subject, they will use the word torture, because while it may have a “disputed legal meaning,” it should be used in cases that obviously involve “the intentional infliction of pain to make someone talk.”
Given those changes, reporters urged that The Times recalibrate its language. I agreed. So from now on, The Times will use the word “torture” to describe incidents in which we know for sure that interrogators inflicted pain on a prisoner in an effort to get information.
You can read the full piece here.
[image via Haxorjoe]
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