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The New York Times catches (wakes?) up

Torture is torture!   The Obama Administration has been loath to acknowledge that the Americans have engaged in torturing people.    The New York Times has gone along with the absurd euphemism of "enhanced interrogation techniques" a la what the Government has described it as.  But, no longer....

"In an announcement on Thursday, the New York Times' executive editor Dean Baquet said the widely-read newspaper—at the urging of reporters in the newsroom—will end its  long-held and widely criticized practice of calling torture  by the U.S. government "enhanced interogation techniques" and instead call it by its "common" name: torture.

In his statement posted on the paper's website, Baquet said:

Over the past few months, reporters and editors of The Times have debated a subject that has come up regularly ever since the world learned of the C.I.A.’s brutal questioning of terrorism suspects: whether to call the practices torture.

When the first revelations emerged a decade ago, the situation was murky. The details about what the Central Intelligence Agency did in its interrogation rooms were vague. The word “torture” had a specialized legal meaning as well as a plain-English one. While the methods set off a national debate, the Justice Department insisted that the techniques did not rise to the legal definition of “torture.” The Times described what we knew of the program but avoided a label that was still in dispute, instead using terms like harsh or brutal interrogation methods.

But as we have covered the recent fight over the Senate report on the C.I.A.’s interrogation program – which is expected to be the most definitive accounting of the program to date – reporters and editors have revisited the issue. Over time, the landscape has shifted. Far more is now understood, such as that the C.I.A. inflicted the suffocation technique called waterboarding 183 times on a single detainee and that other techniques, such as locking a prisoner in a claustrophobic box, prolonged sleep deprivation and shackling people’s bodies into painful positions, were routinely employed in an effort to break their wills to resist interrogation.

Strikingly, it was the Times itself which reported that the CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed '183 times' in 2009, as it credited national security blogger Marcy Wheeler who noticed the shocking detail in a 2005 Bush administration memo."

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