Euphemisms away: World in which truth is dying species<quoted text>
How you doin' with the cue ball? Any contractions yet?
Hidden away somewhere within the labyrinth of the Pentagon there must be a top secret euphemism department engaged in the invention of the Orwellian surrogate words that have crept surreptitiously into the American English vocabulary and from there translated into many other languages. In my mind I see a unit of studiously serious executives, coffee mugs in their hands and their neckties awry, devising senseless terms for terrible things and used unthinkingly by people today from New York to California, from Maine to Texas. The goal of my imaginary secret unit is to render ugly terms meaningless or to transform them into their opposite. To quote the perceptive Scottish writer, Candia McWilliam, "plain words are always under threat." There are words that don't say what they mean and there are words that say what they don't mean.
Intensified or enhanced interrogation sounds oh so much more genteel than the hideous word TORTURE. Collateral damage goes down quite well instead of the savage bombing and strafing of a funeral procession or a wedding party. Military leaders themselves have come to love the suggestive word "footprints" to indicate the evidence of America's powerful presence throughout the world: "We were here and we leave this little sign with you." A little footprint, maybe a fleet of super bombers or Predator drones.
The point to keep in mind is that the names of things, issues, objects of life change, but the substance of the object itself remains-torture will always be torture, no matter what the gnomes propose and the media parrot.