The Pentagon’s use of euphemisms

Tom Ackerman, “The Pentagon’s war on words,” 12 March 2014, Al Jazeera English

He calls the treatment of hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo “force-feeding”.

But in a just declassified Pentagon document, many of the detainees are described as engaging in “long term non-religious fasting”.

It’s the latest linguistic leavening from the US Department of Defence, a title in itself emblematic of the culture of euphemism at an agency that for 150 years proudly called itself the Department of War. …

“Special rendition” – kidnapping

“Environmental manipulation” – applying extreme hot and cold temperatures for interrogation

“Kinetic” – firing bombs, missiles and bullets

“Countervalue attack” – fire-bombing a city

Not to mention the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that nearly everyone but former Vice President Dick Cheney calls torture by waterboard. …

Read the full article here.