Saturday, December 10, 2005

6 reasons why Europe snarked at Condi (7, if you include the lipstick)

A paraphrasal of the LA Times opinion piece by Chris Mullin, a member of the British Parliament…

Mullin systematically explains why "Europeans reacted with such incredulity to this week's denial by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the US has been ghosting suspected terrorist prisoners to countries where they are likely to be tortured."

1. The excruciating, lawyerly language: "'[W]hen we believe he will be tortured' looks pretty watertight. But 'will be' is the key phrase. She should have said 'may be'."

See, verb tenses really do matter.

2. Bogus assurances: "She said, 'Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that the transferred persons will not be tortured.' This is risible."

It is. I'm still laughing.

3. Definitional discrepancies: Americans define torture differently than the rest of the world. For example, Americans think "waterboarding" is a really cool extreme summer sport.

4. Factual discrepancies: There are witnesses.

5. Lapses of logic: If there's nothing nasty going on, why all the secret transcontinental shipments of detainees to destinations outside US law?

6. History: El Salvador, Iran under the Shah, Vietnam, and a few other undisclosed locations.

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