So-called so-called

A Letter to the Editor in Tuesday’s Oregonian: 

The Sunday “In My Opinion” article by Steven Wojcikiewicz was the most despicable, self-serving piece of verbiage that I have ever read in your paper (US forfeits its ideals, moral high ground”).

He equates the brute force interrogation methods used on the crew of the USS Pueblo by North Korea to the so-called enhanced interrogation used today against our country’s enemies.  In short, he is saying that we are just as guilty as North Korea in the use of torture.

The cruel treatment of the Pueblo’s crew is well documented.  Having a person beaten so brutally that his head was as big as a basketball is graphic enough evidence to put North Korea in a torture class of its own.

The evidence that our country is engaged in torture should not come from the front page, the evening news or some web blog.  If America is to be equated with North Korea in any manner, I think a conscious, responsible and learned citizen would require more than that.  The crew of USS Pueblo deserves more than that.
Imon L Pilcher
US Navy, retired, McMinnville

First off, I admit to not having read the editorial he is referring to, but I think I — and any semi-literate– can piece together the general thrust of what was said.

There are two lines that throw me here, the latter one a standard dismissal of the media in the “Stabbing in the Back” motif with the dismissive”the front page, the evening news or some web blog”.  But I can basically ignore that because the other line strikes me as more telling and thus more important.

“So-called enhanced interrogation”, notably the use of the qualifier “so-called”.  “Enhanced Interrogation” is a term which serves as an apologia for various interrogation techniques; dropping the phrase “so called” in front of “enhanced interrogation” suggests the term as a euphemism for Torture, and his use suggests he knows even as it doesn’t arrive at the torture techniques of the North Koreans…

Leave a Reply