Monday, November 21, 2005

Innovative and Legal?

Bafflespeak has replaced English as the language du jour in Washington. CIA Chief Porter Goss (one of Bush's appointees) is claiming that Interrogation Techniques Used Strictly Obey the Prohibitions on Torture.

Uh-huh. Sure. Just like the US is "obeying the terms of the Geneva Conventions" that it is signatory to. Or does Mr. Goss think that the world has forgotten about Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition", Abu Ghraib and other assorted ghastliness that has gone on in recent years?

When I see terms like "innovative", "unique" and "strictly legal" in the same sentence as interrogation, I get very worried. In other words, if the technique used wasn't specifically spelled out in law as prohibited, they're probably using it. Strict interpretation of law usually means a rather literal interpretation - especially when you are dealing with agencies that often operate just on the edges of the law as part of their day to day routine.

No comments: