Washington Post’s Tortured Euphemisms

This Washington Post headline (2/13/10) caught my eye:

2008 Habeas Ruling May Pose Snag as U.S. Weighs Indefinite Guantanamo Detentions

You have to read the piece somewhat closely to understand what they’re taking about. Theterrorism case against one Guantanamo detainee was “ironclad”until afederal judge deemed it “too weak”–because some of thestatements against the defendant had been “coerced.” Thishas happened repeatedly–judges “‘have gutted allegations and questioned the reliability of statements by the prisoners during interrogations and by the informants.” This is bad news, we’re told; “the government is likely to suffer further losses” in court.

You have to read almost to the end of the piece before you get a more direct view of things:

The government also relied on Hatim’s interrogations and his testimony at military hearings, during which he is said to have admitted to training at an Al-Qaeda military camp. Judges have been skeptical of such statements unless the government provides evidence that the men were not seriously mistreated. In Hatim’s case, the Justice Department did not dispute his contention that he was tortured in U.S. custody and that he made those admissions to avoid further mistreatment.

The government is trying to justify holding prisoners indefinitely based on evidence gleaned from torture. That is the “snag” referenced in the headline.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.