Saturday, August 01, 2009

NPR Utters the Word Torture

I forgot to blog about this when I heard it, but as I was driving to work Thursday morning, I was flabbergasted to hear NPR Morning Edition refer to the treatment of a Guantanamo Bay detainee as torture.
A federal judge hears arguments later today on whether a young Guantanamo Bay detainee will go home to Afghanistan or face prosecution in the united states. The detainee was accused of injuring Americans by throwing a grenade in Afganistan seven years ago. NPR's Ari Schapiro reports:

There have been many twists and turns in the story of Mohammad Jawad. He may have been as young as 12 when Americans picked him up in 2002. He confessed under torture, and a court later threw out those statements. [...] (Transcribed from the NPR website.)
Previously, NPR had been reluctant to call things like hanging guys from the ceiling by the wrists for days at a time, waterboarding, etc., torture. Once while I was listening to NPR, the reporter went through so many infelicitous and deceptive verbal gymnastics to avoid saying the word "torture" in reference to actual torture that I wrote them an angry letter--something I very rarely do. Their politically-cowardly reticence has been a big issue. See here, here, here, and here.

So I am pleasantly surprised to hear them, in this case, bluntly call a spade a spade.



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