Mini-Opinion: When Is Torture Not Torture? Ask CIA Dir. Brennan.

What Could We Do To Hold Brennan Accountable?

Last week I heard CIA Director John Brennan throwing around “EIT” in his rare, televised news conference. Excuse me? EIT’s? What the hell does that acronym mean? I see a few letters thrown together to make something sound less god-awful – at least when it comes to politics.

CIA Dir. John Brennan. Credit: White House Public Domain

EIT sounds a lot like another acronym, EID. EID doesn’t bring any mental pictures to mind. It stands for “improvised explosive device.” Okay, explosive sounds bad. But an improvised explosive device sounds like something a kid threw together, like a toy. But we all know it really stands for a “roadside bomb” in English. EID scrambles soldiers’ brains and blows off limbs. EID is too short, too small for what it really is. And I am worse than offended at its use.

Water Torture. Credit: Public Domain

Water Torture. Credit: Public Domain

George Orwell said euphemisms were words “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” If that is so, what are acronyms? They are the bones of euphemisms. They are scraped free of any meaning, of any emotion, of any responsibility.

Engraving from a book about instruments of torture. Credit: CC2

Engraving from a book about instruments of torture. Credit: CC2

EIT’s are “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And what does that mean? It means torture. John Brennan, I do not accept your acronyms. Or your word lies. Rather than make torture less recognizable, we need to make it moreso. Our torture is ugly. Our torture ruined a prisoner’s eye. Our torture maimes, it kills. And it is our S H A M E.

Torture Museum  Credit: Torture Museum 4522 CC2

Torture Museum Credit: Torture Museum 4522 CC2

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