Tuesday, September 01, 2009

That Which Cannot Be Spoken by Its Proponents

"[Richard Cohen] tells us he has an abhorrence of torture and yet describes the torture of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed as merely a 'quite brutal interrogation.' See the sleight of hand? The minute you use the English language in defense of torture, you disgust yourself. Language matters, as Orwell understood. It is the first thing to be dispensed with in the defense of the indefensible." - Andrew Sullivan


Steve Gimbel said...

This is why I despise the dismissal, "It's just a matter of semantics." Look at discussions about whether to call Darfur a genocide. Words matter. Meaning matters. Semantics is not trivial.

helmut said...

Right on.