By MARC MCDONALD
Waterboarding is torture. Period. As John McCain described it at an Iowa campaign stop last October, waterboarding is a "horrible torture technique" that is a "terrible and odious practice and should never be condoned in the U.S." His words are echoed by human rights groups and civil liberties advocates worldwide.
George W. Bush disagrees. A White House spokesman said Bush will veto legislation on Saturday banning U.S. intelligence agents from using waterboarding.
In its coverage of this development, the mainstream media continues to avoid calling waterboarding "torture."
For example, in its coverage of the Bush veto, the Associated Press described waterboarding as a "harsh interrogation method." The word "torture" was absent from the AP report.
In its report on the Bush veto, Reuters also avoided mentioning using the word "torture" even once in its main article, instead referring to waterboarding as a "controversial interrogation method."
The AP and Reuters articles echo the language of the Bush administration itself, which has avoided describing waterboarding as torture, and instead has referred to it as an "enhanced interrogation technique."
Instead of using the White House's bland terminology, AP, Reuters, and other MSM outlets should call Bush's despicable action what it really is: a veto of an anti-torture bill.
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