Secret prisons and forbidden words

This entry was posted on
Friday, November 4th, 2005
2:02 pm and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

Of course you already know about the CIA holding secret prisoners in secret prisons, but have you seen this outrage….?

Independent – EU promises inquiry into CIA’s ‘gulag’: Poland and Romania are at the centre of a row over human rights after the European Commission promised to investigate whether the two nations hosted secret jails for CIA interrogation of al-Qa’ida suspects. The claims provoked an angry reaction from European politicians and, if true, could delay Romania’s accession to the EU. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had asked the United States about the allegations and requested access to the prisons, if they exist. The commission and the Council of Europe said they would try to establish if the claims were true. Human Rights Watch says the CIA used a secret detention centre to interrogate suspects outside the reach of US law and away from official oversight.

Did you spot the outrageous bit? You didn’t?!

Well, allow me to refer you to one of many right-wing commentators who are more than willing to steer you in the (ahem) Right direction:

This is blatant misuse of the word ‘gulag’!!!!

1. These are secret camps, so we don’t know if they exist. You cannot label something that does not exist.

2. If they do exist, we don’t know how big they are or how many prisoners they hold (the number needs to be around 20-30 million prisoners for you to be allowed to use the word ‘gulag’).

3. If they do exist, they are in Poland and/or Romania… this is nowhere *near* Siberia.

How typical it is of Europeans and liberal newspapers to conspire and misuse language in this way. Their strategically placed inverted commas fool no-one. For shame!

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