Sunday, April 19, 2009

Still Think It's A Simulation?

In Aliso Viejo on Friday, we stopped and bought a copy of the Los Angeles Times to read about the latest release of Bush Administration memos on CIA interrogation tactics.

Greg Miller and Josh Meyer reported in the April 17 Times on the new releases, which detail the interrogation tools used by the CIA and the legal wrangling by the Justice Department to articulate a legal rationale for torture. Obama calls this a "dark and painful chapter in our history," and in case the use of past tense does not communicate his meaning well enough, he goes on to say he is concerned with "reflection" and not "retribution."

In other words, no justice for anyone who violated domestic and international laws on torture. CIA operatives have been granted immunity, and there will presumably be no action taken to hold former elected officials accountable for sanctioning the use of torture.

The Times continues to refer to waterboarding as "simulated drowning," even while reporting that the Justice Department required the CIA to keep a physician present while performing the procedure in case a subject needed an emergency tracheotomy. Well, jeekers! If the drowning is just a simulation, they shouldn't need a real tracheotomy. Simulated medical care should do just fine.

That is, of course, silly. The risks are real, and so is the drowning. Waterboarding is not "simulated" drowning -- it is drowning, nice and simple. Can we discard the deceptive euphemism and tell the truth about what our government has perpetrated?

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