Washington Post, in an article about a man named Kaing Khek Lev, or “Duch,” a notorious genocidaire of the Khmer Rouge, who this week took responsibility for his crimes, namely running “the Khmer Rouge’s most notorious torture center, Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh,” where an “estimated 16,000 men, women and children died.” Now, we’ve read a lot of descriptions of torture in the Washington PostHuffington Post
Three decades after Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge was flushed from power, a former top official on Tuesday publicly accepted responsibility and apologized for his role in a regime that killed one-fifth of the country’s population.Kaing Khek Iev, who is better known by what he describes as his “revolutionary” name, Duch, ran the Khmer Rouge’s most notorious torture center, Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh. An estimated 16,000 men, women and children died in the former high school, which the Khmer Rouge dubbed S-21, between 1975 and 1979.
It’s a break from typical media traditions, obviously. See, when outfits like the WaPo typically talk about waterboarding, it’s referred to as “a form of simulated drowning that U.S. officials had previously deemed a crime” or “harsh interrogation tactics” or an “interrogation tactic” or “harsh interrogation practices” or “a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill.” But unless you are in possession of whatever gland produces honesty, like Dan Froomkin, you never, never, ever just come right out and say that waterboarding is torture.