Washington Babylon — May 8, 2009, 12:03 pm

It’s Only Torture When They Do It

From Andrew Sullivan:

Here we have it in broad daylight: the New York Times’ cowardice in the face of its own government. In an obit today, the editors manage to use the word “torture”. It’s in an obit. The obit runs:

Col. Harold E. Fischer Jr., an American fighter pilot who was routinely tortured in a Chinese prison during and after the Korean War, becoming — along with three other American airmen held at the same prison — a symbol and victim of cold war tension, died in Las Vegas on April 30…From April 1953 through May 1955, Colonel Fischer — then an Air Force captain — was held at a prison outside Mukden, Manchuria. For most of that time, he was kept in a dark, damp cell with no bed and no opening except a slot in the door through which a bowl of food could be pushed. Much of the time he was handcuffed. Hour after hour, a high-frequency whistle pierced the air…

You will notice how the NYT defines torture when it comes to foreign governments – isolation, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation. Much milder than anything the U.S. did to one of its own citizens, Jose Padilla.

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