The NYT And Torture

A letter to the writer of that obit:

Mr. Hevesi, I was dismayed to see in your obit of Col. Fischer the description of his detention in a Chinese prison as 'torture'. As I'm sure you're aware, there is a debate throughout our country as to which interrogation techniques constitutes torture.

What you may not be aware of is that your paper has already declared its position in that debate: Undecided. I will refer you to Clark Hoyt's April piece titled 'Telling the Brutal Truth', in which Washington editor Doug Jehl was quoted saying "I have resisted using torture without qualification or to describe all the techniques. Exactly what constitutes torture...hasn’t been resolved by a court." He then added "On what basis should a newspaper render its own verdict, short of charges being filed or a legal judgment rendered?"

Your article made no mention as to whether Col. Fischer's interrogator, Chong, was either charged or convicted of torture. As such, in order to help the Times retain its' consistency, I request that you change every instance of 'prisoner' in your article to 'enemy combatant' and change 'torture' to 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. I'd also think it to be prudent if you could also expand the scope of the obit to better flesh out the background of Chong, the interrogator. Perhaps describe the pressure he was under from his superiors to produce intelligence about germ warfare from Col. Fischer as a way to explain his heavy-handedness.