. . . A collection I started in 2003 after I noticed that government officials, military spokespersons, and even respectable journalists were inventing all sorts of ways to talk about torture without actually using the word. Of all the crimes committed by the Bush II Administration war and torture must be at the top of the list.
This collection begins with a few definitions of torture then proceeds to 173 distinct euphemisms for torture and various specific techniques. Nearly all of these terms were published in the past five years, but a few are from earlier sources, as noted.
Definitions from Web Dictionaries
a. Infliction of severe physical pain or mental anguish.
b. Deliberate application of physical pain or psychological anguish, without consent of the victim, for any reason, including but not limited to punishment, execution, or extraction of confession.
Definitions from the Geneva Conventions relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
a. Prohibited [are] . . . Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture . . . Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment . . .
b. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for . . .
c. No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war . . .
d. Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service . . .
e. Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishments, imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden . . .
f. Wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health . . . [are prohibited].
Definitions from the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
a. For the purpose of this Declaration, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official on a person . . .
b. Torture constitutes an aggravated and deliberate form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
173 Euphemisms for Torture, from the Bush II Administration, Tame Journalists, and Other Sources
1. aberrant methods. euphemism for torture used by some military investigators who, in reviewing interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib, referred to torture techniques as merely "aberrant methods of interrogation."
2. abuse. euphemism for torture used by Donald Rumsfeld, US secretary of defense, 2004.
3. abusive interrogation. US law enforcement euphemism for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
4. aggressive conversation. euphemism for torture-interrogation used by Gen. Geoffrey Miller, May 2004.
5. aggressive interrogation. US law enforcement euphemism for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
6. aggressive methods of persuasion. euphemism for torture-interrogation as practiced by Syria, for example.
7. aggressive techniques. euphemism for torture used by an Air Force judge advocate who witnessed, reported, and objected to torture at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January 2003.
8. alternative methods of interrogation. euphemism for torture used by George W. Bush, 2006, who at the same time made public the existence of secret overseas CIA prisons.
9. alternative set of procedures. euphemism for torture used by George W. Bush, 2007.
10. applying duress past the point of irreversible psychological damage. CIA euphemism for psychological torture.
11. assaulting detainees. euphemism for torture used by journalists in describing Abu Ghraib scandal, 2004.
12. battlefield interrogation methods. term used by US judge advocates, defined as "slapping around a prisoner if it might immediately save lives," but under any other circumstance would be "immoral and possibly illegal if used on prisoners far from a war zone and long after their capture."
13. behavior modification instructor. slogan on t-shirts for sale to soldiers in a stall outside the Navy Exchange at Guantanamo. (from Clive Stafford Smith, Inside Guantanamo, article in New Statesman, 21 Nov 2005. Smith is legal director of Reprieve [ reprieve.org.uk ], a UK charity fighting for people facing the death penalty and other human rights abuses. He has represented 40 of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.)
14. blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman act. term for torture used by secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld in describing classified torture photos not released to the press.
15. breaking down the prisoner. euphemism for torture used by soldiers at Abu Ghraib.
16. breaking prisoners through a combination of pain and humiliation. euphemism for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004
17. brutal methods of extracting information from resistant sources. euphemism for torture used by journalists describing CIA torture manuals.
18. brutality and degradation. euphemism for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
19. brutality and humiliation intended to break the prisoners for interrogation. euphemism for torture used by journalists in describing Iraq scandal, 2004.
20. cell extraction. dragging the victim from his cell in order to beat him, or while beating him. Euphemism used by Florida Department of Corrections.
21. chaos and unprofessionalism. euphemism for torture used by journalists, specifically referring to the situation at Abu Ghraib prison where torture was committed by US military police and others, 2003–04.
22. coercive interrogation. euphemism for torture used by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, 2004. Also used by US law enforcement.
23. coercive custodial interrogation / coercive police questioning / coercive police tactics. US law enforcement euphemisms for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
24. coercive methods / coercive interrogation methods. CIA euphemisms for torture-interrogation.
25. coercive techniques. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, US commander in charge of military jails in Iraq, 2004
26. committing indecent acts. euphemism for torture used by journalists in describing Iraq scandal, 2004.
27. compulsive questioning. US law enforcement euphemism for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
28. controversial interrogation policy. euphemism used by US journalists describing Bush administration torture memos, 2005.
29. corrective action. US army euphemism for punishment. Example: during boot camp, the use of extra pushups as a corrective action is common.
30. corrective training. UK euphemism for work while incarcerated.
31. counter-resistance strategies. Pentagon euphemism for torture.
32. counter-resistance techniques. term for legalized torture as secretly authorized by Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld in 2002. (from Alfred W. McCoy, The Hidden History of CIA Torture: America's Road to Abu Ghraib, article posted at tomdispatch.com .)
33. cowboy-like excessive force. euphemism for beating the victim during arrest, used by a UN official who collected complaints about US operations in Afghanistan 2002, quoted in report by Human Rights Watch, Mar 2004.
34. criminal treatment of detainees. euphemism for torture used by Washington Post editorial, 2004.
35. cruel and inhuman interrogation methods. another name for torture.
36. cruel and unusual punishment. term for torture in the US Constitution; it is clearly and explicitly prohibited by the 8th Amendment.
37. cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. euphemism for torture used in title of Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
38. cruel treatment. euphemism for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
39. culturally insensitive force. euphemism, used in reports about US abuses against Afghan civilians as recorded by Human Rights Watch, Mar 2004, for "male troops touching or looking at women during searches."
40. degrading treatment. euphemism for torture, particularly sexual torture.
41. deprivation of sensory stimuli. CIA euphemism for isolation or solitary confinement. (from CIA torture manual.)
42. depth interrogation. euphemism for torture and interrogation used by British police and military in Northern Ireland. Techniques include "deprivation of sleep, food, and drink, enforced prolonged standing against the wall, hooding, [and] the use of continuous noise."
43. detainee operations. general term for the rounding up, processing, and housing of prisoners by the military, possibly also used as a euphemism for torture.
44. dosing. euphemism for water torture.
45. emergency reaction force / ERF. team of guards at Guantanamo who "dress up in Darth Vader outfits and rough up recalcitrant prisoners." A victim so handled is said to have been ERFed. (from Clive Stafford Smith, Inside Guantanamo, article in New Statesman, 21 Nov 2005.)
46. employing physical means in order to elicit information. euphemism for torture.
47. enabler. euphemism for torture used by Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who reportedly asserted that detention operations must act as an "enabler" for interrogation.
48. enhanced interrogation techniques. official CIA euphemism for torture, revealed due to Iraq scandal, 2004.
49. errors committed in the service of truth through use of methods that had nothing to do with the Gospel. euphemism for torture used by Pope John Paul II in a document apologizing for the Inquisition, 2000.
50. excessive and disproportionate use of force. euphemism for torture used by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2004 Iraq report.
51. excessive force. euphemism for torture-interrogation.
52. exceptional techniques. euphemism for torture used by Donald Rumsfeld, 2003.
53. exploitation of detainees' phobias. euphemism for the use of fear as a method of torture, used in a legal memorandum prepared for the Bush administration by Lt. Col. Diane E. Beaver, October 2002. (from Break Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces, a report by Physicians for Human Rights, 1 May 2005.)
54. extracting intelligence from prisoners. euphemism for torture-interrogation.
55. extraordinary interrogation techniques. euphemism for torture used by journalists, referring specifically to CIA methods, 2004.
56. extraordinary rendition / extreme rendering. CIA term for "flying captured terrorist suspects from one country to another for detention and interrogation." (Washington Post, 27 Dec 2004.) The term is used when such transportation is carried out secretly in order to bring the victim to a country where torture is legal. One source states that, as of May 2005, the most common destinations were Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Uzbekistan.
57. extreme circumstances. euphemism for torture used by Australian officials describing the treatment received by Mamdouh Habib.
58. extreme form of punishment / extreme methods. euphemism for torture.
59. extreme rendering. another term for extraordinary rendition.
60. forceful interrogation. euphemism for torture.
61. Gitmo-ize. term used in reference to the adoption at Abu Ghraib, Iraq, of the torture techniques used at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ("Gitmo").
62. Gitmo prison practices. euphemism for torture used in reference to Abu Ghraib,
63. gloves are coming off. euphemism for introduction of torture techniques on detainees, used by US army intelligence officer Capt. William Ponce in Iraq, who then requested from interrogators their 'wish lists' of harsh techniques. (Washington Post, 19 April 2005.)
64. grievous abusive acts. euphemism for torture used in so-called "compromise" of Sep 2006 in which US Senate and White House agreed to allow President Bush to continue to commit torture.
65. grotesque abuse. another name for torture.
66. hard methods of interrogation.
67. harsh interrogation / harsh techniques / harsher methods on detainees resisting questioning. euphemisms for torture-interrogation.
68. human exploitation team / HET. US military term for group of soldiers carrying out interrogations, Iraq war era, 2005.
69. high pressure interrogation tactics. euphemism for torture used by Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez when denying that he ever authorized the following techniques in Iraq: the use of dogs, extreme temperatures, and reversed sleep patterns.
70. human rights abuse / human rights violation. general terms for torture and other serious outrages, used mainly by international humanitarian groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
71. humiliation. euphemism for causing shame and embarrassment to the victim, including by sexual torture and taunting. Techniques used by US officials include: 1) full body search, 2) prolonged forced nudity, 3) parading the victim past news cameras while shackled. 4) The victim is forced to wear a sandbag over his head on which is painted the name of a crime the victim has never been accused of, then left at the mercy of guards. This last technique was used by US soldiers at a military base in Mosul, Iraq, c. 2003.
72. humiliating and destroying the human dignity of prisoners to obtain information. euphemism for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
73. ill treatment / ill use. euphemisms for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
74. illegal coercive interrogation. euphemism for torture, used by Human Rights Watch, referring to methods practiced by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo.
75. incommunicado interrogation. euphemism for torture used by coalition of human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
76. inducing muscle fatigue. euphemism for stress positions, used by US army intelligence officials in Iraq. (Washington Post, 19 April 2005.)
77. inhuman treatment / inhumane and degrading treatment. euphemisms for torture used in 2004 Iraq report by the ICRC. The report stated that according to military intelligence officers the term, "using inhumane and degrading treatment against prisoners to secure their cooperation," was part of the military intelligence process.
78. Initial Reaction Force / IRF / snatch team / snatch squad. group of guards at Guantanamo who bring uncooperative victims from the holding area to the torture area. Victims are routinely beaten during transfer. (from Erik R. Saar, Inside the Wire. Saar was a translator at Guantanamo from December 2002 to June 2003.)
79. intentional infliction of emotional distress. euphemism for psychological torture.
80. interrogation in depth. euphemism for torture used by UK authorities in the 1970s after it was revealed that torture in Northern Ireland had been conducted by the British army.
81. interrogation methods to help make the prison staff "more able to garner intelligence as rapidly as possible." euphemism for torture. The part in quotes is from Gen. Geoffrey Miller.
82. interview in which highly coercive techniques are used. euphemism for torture-interrogation.
83. involuntary confession. euphemism for a confession obtained by torture.
84. keeping up the shock of capture so you can extract more things out of prisoners, like important information. euphemism for torture used by a British soldier who witnessed beatings of prisoners, Iraq, 2004.
85. lawless detention. another name for secret detention.
86. loosening up. euphemism for torture used in relation to US military intelligence officers abusing victims at Abu Ghraib, 2004.
87. making it hell so they would talk. euphemism for torture used by military police reservist Spec. Sabrina Harman in Iraq, 2004.
88. making prisoners more pliable to interrogation. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, provost marshal of the Army (head of US military police), 2004.
89. maltreatment of detainees. charge brought against a small number of US Army soldiers accused of torturing prisoners in Afghanistan, 2001–05.
90. means of eliciting truth / subsidiary means of eliciting truth. euphemisms for torture in medieval Germany. (from Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, under Torture.)
91. medical experiments. a form of torture in which unwilling victims are used as guinea pigs.
92. methods used to secure cooperation. euphemism for torture used in 2004 Iraq report by ICRC.
93. mild non-injurious contact. official euphemism for hitting a prisoner, used by US forces at Guantanamo, reported by Clive Stafford Smith, who adds that "there are no consequences."
94. mild physical contact to intimidate uncooperative prisoners. euphemism for torture attributed to Donald Rumsfeld.
95. mistreating prisoners. euphemism for torture used by journalists in describing Abu Ghraib scandal, 2004.
96. monstering. euphemism for a specific form of sleep deprivation invented by US Army interrogators at Bagram Collection Point (BCP), an air base in Afghanistan where US personnel detained and tortured an unknown number of victims beginning in 2001. Reported by Chris Mackey (pseudonym), interrogator and Army reservist, in his book The Interrogators, who stated that this new method was invented in an attempt to avoid breaking the Geneva Conventions prohibition against sleep deprivation.
97. moral intimidation. euphemism for sexually insulting the victim as a form of degradation.
98. no-touch. refers to any technique or method of torture that leaves no marks. Specifically the term refers to techniques which avoid physical brutality in favor of psychological torture. No-touch was developed by the CIA in the 1950s, after their research proved that drugs and electroshock were not successful in forcing victims to comply, but that sensory deprivation, stress positions, and sexual humiliation produced excellent results.
99. non-doctrinal methods. euphemism for torture used by some military investigators who, in reviewing interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib, referred to torture techniques as merely "non-doctrinal methods of interrogation."
100. non-coercive technique. CIA euphemism for psychological torture.
101. not quite torture. not quite euphemism for torture, used specifically in the case of Omar Faruq, who was detained by US forces at Bagram. According to Human Rights Watch report, Mar 2004, a US official told the New York Times that the victim was "fed very little and subjected to sleep and light deprivation and prolonged isolation and room temperatures ranging from 100 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (38-12 centigrade)."
102. novel interrogation methods. euphemism for torture used by journalists describing the Afghanistan and Iraq scandals, 2005.
103. objectionable interrogation. euphemism for torture-interrogation, used by some journalists referring to scandal at Guantanamo Bay.
104. persistent interrogation. US law enforcement euphemism for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
105. petty and deliberate acts of violence aimed at securing the cooperation of prisoners. euphemism for torture used in 2004 Iraq report by the ICRC.
106. physical abuse. common euphemism for torture.
107. physical coercion / physical and mental coercion. euphemisms for torture as used to extract confessions.
108. piteously handled. descriptive of how victims were treated by their torturers. (from John Fox, Book of Martyrs, 1875 and many other editions.)
109. playground for sadists. descriptive of what inevitably results in any system where officials are free to torture. (from Vladimir Bukovsky.)
110. presence of military working dog. euphemism for a method of coercion defined as "exploit[ing] Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations." Authorized for use by US forces in Iraq in a 14 Sep 2003 memo from Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, senior commander in Iraq. (In Arab culture dogs are viewed as unclean.)
111. pressure-point control tactic. general term for torturing or controlling the victim by applying physical pain to a specific point on the body. (from Tim Golden, US Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates’ Deaths. New York Times, 20 May 2005.)
112. procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses. euphemism for torture invented by Bush White House and Justice Department lawyers, 2000–2004.
113. professional interrogation techniques. euphemism for torture, specifically waterboarding, used by Porter J. Goss, head of the CIA, to turn aside concerns about torture, while being questioned in Senate hearing, 17 Mar 2005.
114. psychological coercion. general term for non-physical interrogation techniques, including: 1) threatening the victim with a strong punishment such as a long prison term, then promising leniency if he confesses, 2) lying about evidence by claiming that authorities already have enough to convict the victim when there is no such evidence, 3) threatening to arrest the victim's friends or loved ones, and 4) claiming that the torturers are within their rights to behave in this manner. Often used by US police.
115. psychologically abusive techniques / psychologically coercive tactics. euphemisms for psychological torture.
116. PsyOps (psychological operations). US military term used in connection with torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq. Private Lynndie England said, "I was instructed by persons in higher rank to stand there, hold this leash, look at the camera, and they took pictures for PsyOps."
117. putting to the question. to torture.
118. quaint. descriptive term used by Alberto Gonzales, White House legal counsel and later Attorney General in the George W. Bush administration, when referring to anti-torture provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
119. question de l'eau (French: the water question). another term for water torture.
120. questionable practices. euphemism for torture used in reference to Abu Ghraib, 2004.
121. rapidly exploit internees for actionable intelligence. euphemism for torture used by Rumsfeld in sending Gen. Miller to Iraq, 2004.
122. rectification campaign. program of torture and confession carried out by K'ang Sheng (1898-1975) in China.
123. rest cure. euphemism for psychological torture, in which the victim, usually female, is kept in a dark room, fed nothing but bland food, and told she will not be released until she agrees to demands. A form of brainwashing used by male psychologists on married women who did not want to be housewives, late 1800s US. (from Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wall-Paper, 1892)
124. robust interrogation techniques. euphemism for torture used by journalists, specifically referring to US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld's secret 2003 memo on how to argue that torture is legal, 2004.
125. rough interrogation. euphemism for torture.
126. rough tactics. euphemism for torture used by Rohan Gunaratna while defending use of the threat of torture.
127. rough treatment of detainees. euphemism for torture used by journalists referring to the Afghanistan-Iraq scandal, 2005.
128. sadistic and barbaric treatment. euphemism for torture used by New York Times writer Bob Herbert, 2005.
129. sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, Deputy Commanding General for Support, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, testifying on the Iraq scandal, 2004.
130. safety position. euphemism for stress position, used by US military officials at Bagram, described as a position that would make the victim "uncomfortable" but not hurt him, such as kneeling, or sitting in a chair positioned against a wall. (from Tim Golden, US Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths. New York Times, 20 May 2005.)
131. Salvador option. codeword for training nationalist death squads to commit disappearances and assassinations in a country other than one's own. The term refers to this strategy as it was used by the US against "leftist guerrilla insurgents" in El Salvador, 1980s. Term also used in reference to Iraq War, 2005.
132. self-inflicted pain. a term descriptive of how stress positions psychologically affect the victim by making him feel responsible for causing his own suffering.
133. self injurious behavior / SIB. official euphemism for a suicide attempt by a victim, invented after there were 32 suicide attempts among the victims within the first six months at Guantanamo. Such a victim is also referred to as an SIB. (from Clive Stafford Smith, Inside Guantanamo, article in New Statesman, 21 Nov 2005.)
134. setting conditions for interrogations / setting the conditions for successful interrogation and exploitation of prisoners. euphemisms for torture used by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, commander at Abu Ghraib.
135. setting physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba in report on abuses of Iraqi prisoners by US reservist military police at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, 2004.
136. severe compulsion. US law enforcement euphemism for physical and psychological torture during interrogation.
137. severe measures. euphemism for torture used in Washington Post article, referring to techniques approved by Donald Rumsfeld, 1 March 2005.
138. severe sexual and cultural humiliation. general term for certain techniques designed to mentally break down the victim, including 1) cavity searches, 2) photographing the victim when nude, 3) forcing the victim to imitate sexual acts, 4) forced shaving of victims from a culture where shaving is prohibited or deemed unmanly, 5) accusing the victim of being gay, and others. (from Break Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces, a report by Physicians for Human Rights, 1 May 2005.)
139. sexual interrogation techniques. general term for various forms of psychological torture used by US personnel on victims at Guantanamo. (from Erik R. Saar, Inside the Wire.)
140. sexual, physical and psychological abuse of detainees. euphemism for torture used by journalists in describing Iraq scandal, 2004.
141. sharpened interrogation. euphemism for torture used by Heinrich Müller.
142. silent tent. euphemism for a specific form of sleep deprivation in which the victim is detained in a tent, repeatedly dragged face down along the ground, and beaten whenever it appeared he might be falling asleep. Treatment used by US torturers on Arkan Mohammed Ali, as stated in ACLU lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld, 2005.
143. sleep disruption. another name for sleep deprivation, done by keeping "the lights on constantly or to wake detainees every fifteen minutes to disorient them." (Technique described by Roger King, US military spokesman at Bagram, Mar 2003, quoted in report by Human Rights Watch, Mar 2004.)
144. sleep management. US military intelligence euphemism for sleep deprivation. (from article by Ron Reagan.)
145. sleep restriction. another euphemism for sleep deprivation.
146. softening up. euphemism for torture used by US Marines at Camp Whitehorse, Iraq, 2004.
147. special administrative measures. euphemism for solitary confinement.
148. special interrogation techniques. euphemism for any of several torture methods approved by Rumsfeld. At Abu Ghraib the most notorious tortures were carried out in Cellblock 1A, known as the "special interrogation cellblock."
149. Special Removal Unit. euphemism for the pilot and crew of the US jet that is used in extraordinary rendition.
150. spreadeagle cure. a form of water torture in which the victim is stripped naked, held by four men spreadeagle face-up by his four limbs while a doctor or attendant stands on a chair and pours buckets of cold water onto his face "until life is nearly extinct." Used on patients in American hospitals for the insane, late 1800s. (from Lynn Gamwell and Nancy Tomes. Madness in America: Cultural and Medical Perceptions of Mental Illness before 1914. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995.)
151. standard intimidation techniques used to frighten inmates into cooperating. euphemism for torture used in 2004 Iraq report by ICRC.
152. standard operating procedure. sometimes used as a euphemism for torture.
153. stress and duress / stress interrogation tactics / stress interrogation techniques / stress and duress tactics / stress and duress interrogation. military and legal euphemisms for torture, used by human rights organizations referring to Iraq scandal, 2004.
154. stress position. extremely innocuous-sounding euphemism for a particularly nasty group of torture techniques that leaves no marks. Examples: forcing the victim to remain standing at attention for a prolonged period of time, to lie backward over a chair for a prolonged period of time. Deemed by Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials to be an acceptable form of torture, as revealed by Iraq scandal, 2004. Also called inducing muscle fatigue.
155. successful exploitation of internees. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, commander of Guantanamo, as reported by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba.
156. successful exploitation of detainees. euphemism for torture used by Lt. Gen. William Boykin, US army, 2004.
157. system for wringing intelligence from the prisoners. euphemism for torture used in reference to Abu Ghraib, 2004.
158. systematic and illegal abuses of detainees. euphemism for torture used by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, Deputy Commanding General for Support, Coalition Forces Land Component Command, testifying on Iraq scandal, 2004.
159. systematic and intentional mistreatment. euphemism for torture used by journalists referring to events uncovered at US military base in Mosul, Iraq, 2005
160. systematic brutality. another term for torture, used in reference to Gitmo and Abu Ghraib scandals, 2004.
161. tactical questioning / TQ-ing. euphemism for torture used by British military.
162. tough love. euphemism for torture suggested by satirist Nick Turse.
163. tough regime. euphemism for torture used in The Guardian, March 19, 2005.
164. tougher interrogation. euphemism for torture.
165. unlawful interrogation techniques. euphemism for torture used by New York Times writer Bob Herbert, article on lawsuit by ACLU against Donald Rumsfeld, 2005.
166. unlawful mistreatment. euphemism for torture.
167. unsanctioned and illegal activity. euphemism for torture, heard in reference to CIA officials who suspended the use of certain "enhanced interrogation techniques" over fears that the agency might be accused of "unsanctioned and illegal activity."
168. very aggressive techniques. euphemistic term for certain torture techniques allegedly banned ("banned without specific approval") by Gen. Geoffrey Miller while he was in charge of Abu Ghraib, including sleep deprivation, hooding, and stress positions.
169. virtuous violence. euphemism for parental spanking of a minor child. Term used by those who argue that spanking is good parenting.
170. the waking. euphemism for sleep deprivation.
171. waterboarding. euphemism for water torture.
172. water treatment. another euphemism for water torture.
173. work their pleasure on (someone). euphemism for torture used by historian William H. Prescott in his classic History of the Conquest of Mexico, 1843.
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